Thursday 18 January 2018

'So devastated' - Tributes paid to PhD candidate Grace killed in house fire

Scene of the fire in Limerick and inset Grace McDermott
Scene of the fire in Limerick and inset Grace McDermott

Cathal McMahon and Conor Feehan

Tributes are being paid to a young woman who died in a house fire at the weekend.

Researcher Grace McDermott, who was originally from the US, was found by firefighters searching inside the property at The Oaks, Riverbank, Annacotty, shortly before 4am, but was later pronounced dead.

Gardaí are not treating the fire as suspicious and are currently working on the theory that it was a tragic accident.

Emergency service workers are examining if it was caused by an electrical fire from a mobile phone charger.

Grace McDermott
Grace McDermott

The three-storey property is being rented to three UL Bohemians rugby players, who were in the house at the time of the blaze.

Another woman was also in the property at the time.

Ms McDermott co-founded the popular website and blog Women Are Boring with Catherine Connolly.

A tribute to was posted on the website this morning.

"So devastated to share the news that our co-founder @grace_mcdermott died tragically yesterday. Women Are Boring is now on hiatus for a while.

"I will continue the project (Grace would be so mad if I stopped!) but will need a little time. Thanks to all for your support."

Speaking to Ms Connolly said the project was Grace's passion and it will be continuing into the future.

Her parents are understood to be travelling from New York this afternoon.

The website highlights thought provoking research done by women, in every field from arts and politics, to science and technology.

The alarm was raised by one of the UL Bohemians players who telephoned emergency services at 3.12am, with two units attached to Limerick City Fire and Rescue Service attending the blaze within minutes of the call-out.

Ms McDermott had been staying over at the property but was not living in the area.

UL Bohemians public relations officer Tony Quilty said that the club's players who survived the fire are "devastated", while expressing his sympathies to the deceased and her family.

"My concern now is just for our lads, it was a tragic house fire.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with our lads and the family of the lady that has tragically died. They're devastated," Mr Quilty said.

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