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Saturday 14 December 2019

'I haven't been to my son's grave' - Mum's pain as she remains homeless after house fire son died in

Destroyed house in Macroom and inset Kenny 'Kenneth' Relihan
Destroyed house in Macroom and inset Kenny 'Kenneth' Relihan
Brian O'Reilly

Brian O'Reilly

A MOTHER has said she can't face going to her son's grave after he died in a house fire she only managed to narrowly escaped last month.

Noreen McAuliffe was left in a coma after escaping a house fire which killed her son Kenny Relihan (26) and family friend Noel O'Mahony (62).

It is believed the fire started after a chip pan went ablaze accidentally in the kitchen at the house in Macroom in Co Cork.

Noreen only managed to escape after jumping from an upstairs window - however her resulting injuries saw her lie in a coma during her son's funeral.

"I haven't been to my son's grave yet as I just can't face it", she told Neil Prendeville on Cork's Red FM.

READ MORE: Hero pal heartbroken as bid to save men from blaze fails 

"I wasn't at Kenny's funeral because I was in a coma. I missed everything. It's all like a dream. I haven't been able to process it at all."

She also describes her last memories of the fire before falling into the coma.

"I woke up and there was smoke billowing. I screamed out the window. Noel helped me up and I jumped.

"I don't even know why de didn't because he could have.

"I don't remember anything else other than waking up a week later."

READ MORE: 'I can’t see how she’s going to get through it' - daughter of woman who lost son and friend in house blaze makes heartbreaking appeal 

Noreen still is yet to receive a new house from Cork county council, and says staying with her daughter has made it difficult for her to fully grieve.

"It was a council house, I was there 40 years. I reared all my family out of it, I miss it so much.

"I'm sleeping on the couch in my daughter's house as she has three children, I can't sleep at all.

"In my own place I could close the door and grieve on my own. There's small children here where I am at the moment and I can't be seen crying in front of them."

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