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Friday 28 July 2017

US lecturer who died in blaze was a bride-to-be

Ms McDermott, aged in her late 20s, was living in Dublin and was engaged to be married to fiancé Colin O’Neill from Portmarnock, Co Dublin
Ms McDermott, aged in her late 20s, was living in Dublin and was engaged to be married to fiancé Colin O’Neill from Portmarnock, Co Dublin

Cathal McMahon and Conor Feehan

The young woman who died in a house fire in Limerick was engaged to be married.

Grace McDermott lost her life in the tragic blaze which ripped through the house she was staying at in Annacotty, Limerick, in the early hours of Monday morning.

Ms McDermott, in her late 20s, was living in Dublin and was engaged to be married to fiancé Colin O'Neill, from Portmarnock, Co Dublin. She was a lecturer at Dublin City University and was a scholarship postgraduate student, studying for a PhD in communications.

Ms McDermott travelled to Limerick with a female friend to participate in the Barrington's Hospital Great Limerick Run on Sunday.

As she lined up, she posted a photo with a final message on her Twitter account. "Here we go," she wrote.

A woman and three male university students managed to escape from the burning house and raise the alarm. Firefighters later removed Ms McDermott's remains from a first-floor bedroom. More tests are being carried out at the house and gardaí are not treating the fire as suspicious.

Her parents are understood to have travelled to Ireland from New York yesterday.

Ms McDermott co-founded the popular academic website and blog 'Women Are Boring' which highlights thought-provoking research done by women, in every field from arts, politics, science and technology.

Ms McDermott co-founded the popular website with Catherine Connolly.

A tribute to was posted on the website yesterday morning.

"So devastated to share the news that our co-founder @grace_mcdermott died tragically yesterday. Women Are Boring is now on hiatus for a while.

"I will continue the project (Grace would be so mad if I stopped!) but will need a little time. Thanks to all for your support."

Speaking to Independent.ie Ms Connolly said the project was Grace's passion and it will be continuing into the future.

Members of UL Bohemians who escaped from the fire were too upset to talk to the media.

UL Bohemians spokesman Tony Quilty said the players who survived the fire were "devastated", while expressing his sympathies to the family of Ms McDermott.

"My concern now is just for our lads, it was a tragic house fire," said Mr Quilty.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the lady that has tragically died."

Irish Independent

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