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Thursday 20 July 2017

Fiancé of blaze victim pays tribute to 'my girl, my hero' in open letter

Colin O’Neill with his late fiancée Grace McDermott to whom he penned an emotional tribute on the blog she started
Colin O’Neill with his late fiancée Grace McDermott to whom he penned an emotional tribute on the blog she started

Kathy Armstrong

The fiancé of tragic Grace McDermott, who was killed in a house fire in Co Limerick, said that he wakes up in the "same ritual of horror" as he recalled his devastating loss.

Ms McDermott (26) from New York died in a house fire in Annacotty, Co Limerick, in May. Her partner Colin O'Neill from Dublin wrote an open letter to her, which was posted on the blog she founded.

"Each morning I wake up to the same ritual of horror. For a fleeting second my hazy mind forgets, then I remember that I have lost you all over again. So perpetual, it feels almost routine at this point and the worst part of all is that I can't see that feeling ever ending," he said.

Mr O'Neill wrote about "my girl, my hero" on the womenareboring blog, describing how the couple met in Melbourne in 2012, how their love developed and their plans for the future.

"I go through all the usual emotions, daily. In my selfish hours, I feel hard done by, but I am still here. I know how wonderful your life was and I know how much you achieved, but you were taken too soon," he wrote. "You would have been a fierce and amazing mother and I know how much we both wanted that. It's just unfair.

Read More: 'What we had was truly unique' - Heartbroken fiancé of tragic fire victim Grace McDermott

"Though I know that this might sound arrogant, I believe what we had was truly unique.

"I try to tell myself that if the world was meant to lose you on that date, how lucky was I that I got to spend the last five years of your life being loved by you."

He also said he was determined to honour her by living his life as she would have wanted: "I will try to live my life in a way that would make Grace McDermott proud of me."

He finished by thanking Ms McDermott, who was a lecturer in DCU.

"I love you Grace. Thank you for being my number 1 fan, for teaching me how to be a better human and for choosing me to be your life partner," he said. "I just wish it lasted another 50 years."

Irish Independent

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