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Wednesday 24 January 2018

'She has a long way to go' - Clondalkin survivor Biddy O'Brien continues to fight for her life in hospital

Biddy O'Brien
Biddy O'Brien
Laura Larkin

Laura Larkin

The sole survivor of a tragic blaze which killed a pregnant woman and three children remains in a critical condition in hospital.

The heartbroken family of Biddy O'Brien are maintaining a vigil by her bedside as she fights for her life, more than two weeks after the Clondalkin fire.

More than a fortnight later she is still unaware that her two children, Jordan (4) and three-year-old Holly are dead.

Her cousin Anne Marie and her child Paris (3) also died in the blaze. 

Victims of Clondalkin fire. (From left clockwise) Holly (3), AnneMarie (27), Biddy (aged in her 30s), Jordan (4) and Paris (2) O'Brien
Victims of Clondalkin fire. (From left clockwise) Holly (3), AnneMarie (27), Biddy (aged in her 30s), Jordan (4) and Paris (2) O'Brien

"The family are taking things one day at a time. She is still very critical and still has a very long way to go," family friend Jim O'Brien told

"Her family and her partner Jamie are still there on a daily basis and they know that this is now something they have to get through," he added.

Read more: 'There are five more angels in heaven': heartbreaking farewell to fire victims

Mr O'Brien, who works with the Bray Travellers Community Group, said he gets daily calls from strangers all across the country passing on well wishes to the family.

"We have complete strangers contacting us to say they are saying a silent prayer for the family," he revealed.

"We are all praying for the family and for her partner."

"The most important thing is that people are thinking about Biddy," he added.

Young mum Biddy suffered extensive burns and has been unconscious in St James's Hospital since the blaze which broke out on March 8.

Her own mother, Bridget, was also hospitalised last week with pneumonia but has since been released from hospital, which has brought some relief to the grieving family.

The fire, which is believed to have been started by a candle near a TV, broke out in a step-down facility for victims of domestic violence.

Read more: 'It's like a nightmare' for heartbroken families of blaze victims

Biddy and her two children were visiting her cousin AnneMarie when the fire occurred.

Her son Jordan was rushed to hospital where he died in the afternoon of March 8. Her daughter Holly and the two other victims were pronounced dead in Tallght hospital shortly after being rescued from the fire.

The blaze has devastated her family, who are also related to the victims of the Carrickmines halting site fire in 2015.

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