Friday 24 May 2019

Fiancé of mother who died on hen night trip missed call from her

Ruth Maguire and family. Partner James Griffin, son Tyler (10), daughter Lydia (6) and son Oliver (5)
Ruth Maguire and family. Partner James Griffin, son Tyler (10), daughter Lydia (6) and son Oliver (5)

Claire McNeily

The fiancé of a young mother who tragically drowned in Carlingford Lough missed a phone call from her - asking for a lift home - on the night she died.

James Griffin didn't get the message from Ruth Maguire, his beloved partner of 12 years, until a fortnight after her funeral because she had dialled his work phone which he had mistakenly left at the office.

The couple, who have three children - Tyler (10), Lydia (7) and Oliver (5) - were due to marry this August.

Ruth (30) lost her life during an accident on a friend's hen night in Co Louth.

She went missing after 11.30pm on Saturday, March 16, after becoming separated from her friends. Her body was later recovered between Carlingford and Greenore on March 18, a month ago today.

Heartbreakingly, Ruth, who lived in Newcastle, was buried in her wedding dress.

In an interview with the 'Belfast Telegraph', Ruth's older sister, Rachel Wilkinson, said her family is still trying to bear the pain of her sudden death.

"Everybody is just trying to work through their grieving in different ways," Rachel said.

"When Jim went back to work two weeks after the funeral, he turned on his work phone and saw that Ruth had called him twice at 12.06am, so it all makes sense now. She had told her friends that she wanted to go home and I now know she was ringing Jim in the hope he would pick her up... but she'd obviously rung his work number instead of his personal phone by accident.

"Jim told me he had to pull over in the car when he saw the missed calls. He was devastated, but in a way it's comforting for us to know that she was trying to get home to her family before she died."

Speaking from a family holiday with husband Ben (40) and their boys Louis (7) and Oscar (3) in Lanzarote, which she booked before Ruth went missing, Rachel revealed how losing Ruth, a strong swimmer, in a drowning accident, has left her terrified of the sea.

"The water has become a bit of an issue for me," she added. "The other day, down by the beach, I was an absolute mess, I just couldn't relax. Every time the kids went near the water I panicked."

Rachel said that Jim (35) has been strong for his children, as he tackles the challenges of being a single-parent head on.

"He's trying to look after the kids and he's got a lot to work out... like how he's going to get them all to their various classes," she said.

Rachel said her family has reconciled themselves to the fact Ruth had a freak accident that came about partly because there are no barriers in the area near the lough.

Irish Independent

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