'I was a Lotto winner every day to share my life with Sandra' - Husband's poignant tribute to mum who died after Communion meal
HUNDREDS turned out in tribute to a Dublin mum who tragically passed away after suspected food poisoning at a First Communion party.
Fitness fanatic Sandra O’Brien, in her 50s, was given a guard of honour by her jogging group along with a large number of gardai, colleagues of her sergeant husband, as her hearse turned into the churchyard of St Finian’s, River Valley in Swords.
The mother-of-one was a popular figure in the local community and was heavily involved in a number of fitness groups.
Members of one, Sloggers To Joggers, ran along with the hearse as it left the church.
Ms O’Brien’s husband, Mike, who stood with the couple’s son Josh, paid an emotional tribute to his wife, explaining to a packed mass that all the success in his life was down her.
“People buy lotto tickets hoping they’d be the lucky one. I was the lucky one every day to share my life with such a beautiful woman. I was a very fortunate person to have such a beautiful woman as a wife, a partner and best friend.
“Everything I have achieved in my life was made possible by the love and caring of a great wife and I take solace knowing she loved me with all her heart, and I in turn loved her with all of mine,” he said.
After a rendition by a family friend of the famous Irish ballad The Lonesome Boatman, Mr O’Brien spoke of his wife’s faith.
He said she would be forever lighting candles at church, particularly for Josh at exam time.
“She was so proud of the two of us and of her own family, but no one made her more proud than her own son Josh.
“Everyone knew Sandra, she had so many friends.” Mr O’Brien added that she “was the life and soul of every party”.
Among the gifts brought up to the alter was her precious running gear – an emotional moment for her jogging pals, who turned up in their droves, all in the same outfits.
This was followed by an emotional few words from two of her young grand-nieces, who she would regularly babysit.
Meanwhile, the Food Safety Authority has confirmed it has placed a closure order on the kitchen of O’Dwyers pub, in Strand Road, Portmarnock, occupied by catering company Flanreil Food Services Ltd.
The watchdog and the HSE are conducting a joint investigation into a suspected outbreak of food poisoning following the death of Ms O’Brien.