Wednesday 23 August 2017

Mother fighting for life after horror Clondalkin blaze kills four

  • Mother Biddy O'Brien fighting for life
  • Fire claimed lives of Holly (3) and Jordan (4)
  • Annemarie O'Brien died alongside daughter Paris
  • Family 'just want to know what happened'
  • Gardaí investigating if faulty television caused fire

Biddy O'Brien remains in hospital
Biddy O'Brien remains in hospital

The mum who survived the fire which claimed the life of her two young children continues her fight for life in hospital today.

Biddy O'Brien was caught in a fire at her cousin's apartment in a stepdown facility run by a domestic violence charity in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Her daughter Holly (3) was pronounced dead in the morning, while her son Jordan (4) died of his injuries later in the afternoon.

The married mum, who is in her 30s, was extremeley close to her cousin Annemarie O'Brien who also perished in the fire alongside her daughter Paris (2).

She was visiting her cousin, who family of said was more like her younger sister, when disaster struck.

Investigations into the fire are continuing, with gardaí probing whether an electrical fault linked to a TV or near where the appliance was located was responsible for the blaze.

Jim O'Brien, who is a cousin of Annemarie, told RTÉ's News at One that the fire has opened up "old wounds."

"I was hearing on the news about a fire in an apartment complex and I didn’t make any connections.

Jordan O'Brien (4)
Jordan O'Brien (4)

"I got a phone call from an aunt of Biddy and she was really upset on the phone. She rang me to let me know what had happened and I was in complete shock, as are a lot of people are today," he said.

Mr O'Brien, who works with the Bray Travellers Community Development group, said the tragedy came at a time when the Carrickmines disaster is still "very raw".

"Prayers help and that is deep in our culture. That is exactly what we’re doing at the minute. We are praying to god that Biddy will make a full recovery."

Meanwhile, Biddy's family continue a vigil by her bedside in St James' hospital today.

Joanne Moorehouse, who is a cousin of Biddy O'Brien, told Independent.ie of the families' devastation.

"We're all devastated. We just want to know what happened," she said.

Holly O'Brien
Holly O'Brien

Biddy lives in Aughamore Lane, Shankill, where devastated neighbours and loved ones were last night trying to come to terms with the tragedy.

Parish priest of Shankill Fr John O'Connor said the community would rally to support the victims' families.

"I don't think there's really any words that could respond to this awful tragedy," he told the Herald.

"I think it's absolutely awful. I was speaking to the dad of the two children earlier today and it's just so sad.

"His wife [Biddy] is still in hospital and in a bad way and we can only pray that the Lord will spare her. The loss of three children is just shocking.

Paris O'Brien
Paris O'Brien

"I married that couple and my heart bleeds for them. They're very good and caring people and will be missed terribly.

"All we can do is put everything in God's hands and to console those who are bereaved."

Ms Moorehouse also revealed that Annemarie, who was seven months pregnant, was looking forward to the arrival of a baby boy.

"We are both pregnant and I only bumped into Annemarie in Holles Street on Tuesday," said Joanne.

"She told me she was expecting a boy and was really excited. She said she was looking for a house to bring up Paris and the new baby in and was in Clondalkin hoping that housing would come through for her soon."

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