Wednesday 23 January 2019

Newlywed Zoe who was injured in Greek wildfire faces up to two months in hospital

Brian O’Callaghan-Westropp with his wife Zoe Holohan
Brian O’Callaghan-Westropp with his wife Zoe Holohan
Zoe Holohan and Brian O’Callaghan-Westropp were newly married (Handout/PA)
Newlyweds Brian O'Callaghan-Westropp and Zoe Holohan Newsdesk Newsdesk

An Irish woman injured in the Greek wildfires faces up to two months in hospital.

Zoe Holohan, who lost her new husband Brian O'Calllaghan Westropp, in the devastating blaze, has undergone an operation and now faces a long road to recovery.

Ms Holohan works in the advertising department of the Sunday World newspaper and writing in the paper today her heartbroken colleagues describe her as part of their family and a treasured friend.

The newlyweds were on honeymoon in Mati, Greece when the wildfire threatened their rented holiday home. Escaping on foot it is understood that they were able to join a crowded car, where the boot was the only available space.

But the car crashed and a fire fighter came to the rescue of those inside, including Zoe who was given first aid at the fire station before being taken to hospital in Athens. 

Her husband Brian had been lost somewhere along the journey, however and he did not survive the fire.

The Dublin man's body was identified on Wednesday.

The fire has claimed the lives of at least 88 people, and has prompted criticism of the government's handling of the disaster.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Friday took political responsibility for the tragedy as opposition leaders said the government had failed to adequately safeguard lives.

Today three members of the same family are due to be laid to rest in the first known funeral since the blaze broke out last Monday in the seaside village of Mati, 30 km (17 miles) east of Athens.

"We will say our final goodbye to our much-loved Grigoris, Evita and Andreas ... tragic victims in Mati," the Fytrou family said in a statement published by the Athens news agency, asking media not to attend.


The search for the missing continues and many people remain in hospital, while the names of more victims have emerged.

Heavy downpours hit the region on Saturday, prompting fears that the work of rescue crews and efforts by locals to salvage what they can from the fire could be made more difficult.

The government has announced a long list of relief measures and promised to tackle decades-old problems, including haphazard and unlicensed residential building, to minimise the risk of a repeat disaster and to cool public anger.

A deputy mayor in Marathon, which administers some of the affected area, on Saturday became the first official to resign over the wildfire.

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