Friday 17 November 2017

'It was his dying wish to marry me' - Tragic OAP died just hours before he was to wed 'soulmate'

Chantal Wiernick with her late partner, Maurice Motson Photo: Press 22
Chantal Wiernick with her late partner, Maurice Motson Photo: Press 22

Martin Grant

A woman who had hoped to grant her partner's "dying wish" by marrying him has been left "heartbroken" after he passed away just hours before they were due to become husband and wife.

Chantal Wiernik's partner of 20 years, Maurice Motson, (76), who was originally from England, passed away on July 13 in Milford Care Centre in Castletroy, Limerick.

The Belgian woman (56) has issued a compassionate plea to Limerick City and County Council to allow her to remain in her late partner's home in Thomondgate on the city's northside so that she may grieve.

The urn containing his ashes remains in Cross' funeral home in the city as she has said she can't bear to bring them home.

Ashes

Ms Wiernik explained: "I went to the registry office months before he died to sort out the paperwork, but there were complications and delays because he was married and divorced in England years ago and we were waiting for all the documentation.

"Finally it was all approved. But he passed away in Milford at 7.30 that morning. I got a call two hours later to say we could marry in the afternoon and that someone would be sent to Milford to perform the ceremony, but it was too late.

"It was his dying wish to marry me. He was my soulmate, my everything. We were always there for each other.

"I didn't know he was going to pass away so soon; I thought we would have more time. But he got an infection recently, after being diagnosed with cancer nine months ago.

"I said no the first time (he proposed) because I don't really believe in marriage, but I loved him so much, so I said 'yes' the second time to make him happy after he got sick.

"Unfortunately, we didn't get the chance, but we got to say our goodbyes and I was with him at the last minute."

Leaving her private rented accommodation, Chantal moved in with Maurice in his one-bedroom bungalow in Thomondgate months before he passed away to look after him, while he was cared for intermittently in Milford.

She is now paying some €62 a week to remain in that residence in Canon Breen Park in Thomondgate, but said she had been served with eviction notices and a locksmith came to the property to change the locks.

However, when he saw her tears and obvious grief, he refused to carry out the job for the council and left.

"I have no job, no money, nowhere to go. I'm afraid to leave the house again in case the locks are changed," said Ms Wiernik, who is in receipt of disability allowance.

"Every day, I say to myself I'll go and get his ashes, but I just can't bear to bring them home.

"I just want the council to give me six months here, or a year, or whatever they can to let me grieve a bit and be with my memories of Maurice."

There are now over 4,300 people on the council's housing waiting list and for every single one-bedroom home there are 103 applicants.

Limerick City and County Council declined to comment.

Milford Care Centre said it regularly received requests to facilitate weddings.

Irish Independent

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