Monday 19 March 2018

'All she wanted was a home for us' - Grieving father who lost daughter (2) and partner in blaze speaks out

Trying to make a fresh start: Annemarie O’Brien and daughter Paris, who both died in the Clondalkin apartment fire
Trying to make a fresh start: Annemarie O’Brien and daughter Paris, who both died in the Clondalkin apartment fire
Victims of Clondalkin fire. (From left clockwise) Holly (3), AnneMarie (27), Biddy (aged in her 30s), Jordan (4) and Paris (2) O'Brien
Annemarie O'Brien
Biddy O'Brien
Holly O'Brien
Local residents left teddy bears and flowers as tribute to the victims of the fire in Clondalkin. Photo: Arthur Carron
Jordan O'Brien
Paris O'Brien (2)

Hayley Halpin

A grieving father said that his partner and young daughter, who died in a fire this week, had sought refuge accommodation after becoming homeless.

In an interview with the Irish Mail On Sunday, Séan Patel has paid tribute to his pregnant partner, Annemarie O'Brien and their daughter Paris Patel (2), who died in the horrific fire in Clondalkin, Dublin last week.

Annemarie and her daughter passed away when the apartment they were living in, located in Kilcronan Avenue, Clondalkin went up in flames in the early hours on Wednesday morning. The apartment was owned by the charity Sonas.

Mr Patel told the Irish Mail on Sunday that Annmarie and Paris were living in the Clondalkin apartment after being left with “no choice” but for him to live with friends and her to find refuge accommodation.

He explained that he and Annemarie were made homeless “some time ago” and had been searching for a family home. Annemarie was expecting their second child in just three weeks time.

“Ann was a kind person and a loving mother. The two of them could never live without the other. She always made sure Hannah Paris Patel had the best care and unconditional love that a child could get from a mother,” he said.

“All she wanted was a home for us. I am so lost and nothing can fill this emptiness. It’s going to be hard to move on. May their souls find eternal peace.”

A Facebook thread shows Annemarie’s sister, Donna Nicole Kelly Devlin, pay tribute to the family: “Seán loved my sister and my beautiful niece more than anything in the world.”

Annemarie’s cousin Biddy O’Brien and her children Jordan (4) and Holly (1) were also in the apartment at the time of the blaze. Holly died at the scene while Jordan was pronounced dead a few hours later.

Biddy remains in critical condition in hospital following extensive burns as well as smoke inhalation.

Jim O’Brein, from the Bray Traveller Community Development Group, who holds connections to the family involved, told the Irish Mail on Sunday that Biddy underwent a six-hour surgery on Friday and remains “critically ill”.

Mr. Patel, originally from Malawi, lived in Ballymun for a number of years. He is currently staying with his brother in Galway while he attempted to come to terms with the lost of his partner and child.

His family are traveling to Dublin from the UK, Africa and Galway today ahead of the funeral today.

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