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Thursday 31 July 2014

'Peaches is dead. We are beyond pain' – Bob Geldof

Martin Evans, Hannah Furness and James Edgar

Published 08/04/2014|02:30

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Peaches Geldof, daughter of Bob Geldof (inset), pictured in 2012
Peaches Geldof, daughter of Bob Geldof (inset), pictured in 2012
Bob Geldof with daughters Pixie and Peaches in 2003
A police officer stands outside the house of Peaches Geldof. Photo: Reuters/Olivia Harris

PEACHES Geldof posted a poignant online image of herself as a child in her late mother's arms just hours before she was found dead at her home.

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In a tragedy that echoes her mother Paula Yates's premature death 14 years ago, the middle daughter of Bob Geldof died at just 25 years of age.

Police were called to her home in Wrotham, Kent, around lunchtime after the alarm was raised by a concerned relative.

Officers and paramedics who entered the secluded rural property set in woodland were unable to revive her, and she was pronounced dead at the scene.

A spokesman for Kent Police said her death was being treated as an unexplained sudden death but was not suspicious.

Bob Geldof said he could not see how his family could ever get over the loss of such a "beautiful child".

In a heartbreaking statement, he said: "Peaches has died. We are beyond pain. She was the wildest, funniest, cleverest, wittiest and the most bonkers of all of us."

President Michael D. Higgins, who is starting an historic State visit to Britain this morning, said: "I extend my deepest sympathies to Bob Geldof and his family on the sudden and untimely death of his daughter Peaches.  

"This is such a difficult cross to bear for any family and all of our thoughts are with Peaches' family and friends at this time. 

"Sabina and I were due to meet Bob Geldof while on the State visit and we are thinking of him at this time of immense loss."

Her death is the latest tragedy to befall the Geldof family, which was devastated in September 2000 when Paula Yates, the mother of Fifi, Pixie, Tiger and Peaches, was found dead at her London home following a heroin overdose.

Ms Yates, who was 41, had herself never fully recovered from the apparent suicide in 1997 of her lover Michael Hutchence, the lead singer of the Australian band INXS.

In her last message on Twitter, Peaches included a link to the picture of her with a smiling Yates and the words 'me and my mum'.

Broadcaster and close friend Gay Byrne said Bob Geldof "must feel like he is staring into a bottomless pit of despair".

"It is an appalling trauma for any parent to go through," Byrne said.

In recent years, Peaches had shaken off the wildchild image of her youth and was a devoted mother to two sons with her second husband, rock singer Thomas Cohen.

She posted almost daily updates on Astala Dylan Willow and Phaedra Bloom Forever, who this month are due to celebrate their second and first birthdays respectively.

Cohen said he would raise the boys with "their mother in their hearts every day".

He said: "My beloved wife Peaches was adored by myself and her two sons Astala and Phaedra and I shall bring them up with their mother in their hearts everyday. We shall love her forever."


The death of Peaches means that her half-sister Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily, at the age of 17, has lost her elder sister, as well as dad Michael Hutchence and her mum Paula Yates.

Peaches' father Bob (62), the Dun Laoghaire-born Boomtown Rats frontman who masterminded the Live Aid concerts, was stricken with grief.

His statement said: "What a beautiful child. How is this possible that we will not see her again? How is that bearable?

"We loved her and will cherish her forever. How sad that sentence is. Tom and her sons Astala and Phaedra will always belong in our family, fractured so often, but never broken."

As the daughter of rock royalty, Peaches, was the very epitome of a wildchild, first marrying American musician Max Drummey in Las Vegas and then splitting up less than six months later. She was a regular fixture on the party scene and admitted having experimented with drugs despite what happened to her mother.

Although she grew up in the UK, Peaches had spoken about her "Irishness" and how she identified with dad's side of the family as well as mum.

She said: "I'm half-Irish. I definitely feel the Irishness in me. It's the 'Gangs of New York' in me – the brawler."

In an interview last autumn she described how she had never fully recovered from the divorce of her parents when she was six and her mother's untimely death, five years later.

She said: "I remember the day my mother died, and it's still hard to talk about it. I went to school the next day because my father's mentality was 'keep calm and carry on'.

"So we all went to school and tried to act as if nothing had happened. But it had happened.

"I didn't grieve. I didn't cry at her funeral. I couldn't express anything because I was just numb to it all. I didn't start grieving for my mother properly until I was maybe 16."

But in recent years it appeared that she had finally begun to find some peace and she began to slowly change her image, appearing on TV and writing about motherhood.

She won accolades and fans for a slot on the 'This Morning' sofa, in which she debated the merits of attachment parenting and co-sleeping with Katie Hopkins.

She had just been signed as a columnist for 'Mother and Baby' magazine, in which she wrote her really early years of attachment parenting had "saved me from losing it".

Her second column is due to be published in the latest issue of the magazine, out today.

Following the birth of her first child she spoke of how it felt like she had been reborn.

Ryan Tubridy interviewed Peaches in 2008 for his former late night chat show 'Tubridy Tonight' and described her as a "smart, well adjusted, clever and quirky young woman."

"I find it all deeply unsettling," Tubridy said. "She was an exceptionally articulate and warm character. My heart goes out to Bob."

His was among hundreds of messages of support and sympathy that poured in for the Geldof family through social media, the radio and television.

Last night, police officers stood guard in the pouring rain at the entrance to the driveway of Ms Geldof's home.

Two police vans were parked alongside two police cars at the two-storey manor house.

Lights were switched on both downstairs and upstairs, while officers were seen going in and out of a converted outhouse.

Radio host Dave Fanning attended Blackrock College at the same time as Bob and remembers Peaches fondly.

"I've known Bob years but only met Peaches twice; when she was toddler and again when she was 12," he said.

"I know just how good a father Bob was. It is ludicrously sad. This will hit him harder than you can imagine."


“Peaches has died. We are beyond pain. She was the wildest, funniest, cleverest, wittiest and the most bonkers of all of us.

“Writing 'was' destroys me afresh. What a beautiful child.

“How is this possible that we will not see her again? How is that bearable? We loved her and will cherish her forever. How sad that sentence is.

“Tom and her sons Astala and Phaedra will always belong in our family, fractured so often, but never broken. Bob, Jeanne, Fifi, Pixie and Tiger Geldof.”

Irish Independent

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