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Tragedy strikes again for family hit by road death

THE horrific fire in the early hours of yesterday morning is the second tragedy to hit the O'Dwyer family in recent years.

Helena's younger brother William was 14 when he died in a car crash in 2005.

The teenager was killed when a stolen car he was travelling in crashed through a barrier and into a tree on Cork's Monaghan Road in June of that year.

Yesterday, neighbours at the family's home in Nutley Avenue, Mahon, Co Cork, said the teenager's death had united the family at the time, but questioned how they could get over the deaths of Helena (25) and her nephew Ryan (5).

One neighbour, who didn't wish to be named, described Helena as a "lovely young woman, who loved spending time with her daughter, Courtney".

"It was obvious she loved Courtney very much," she said. "It's terrible what happened. The sirens woke me up and I came out of my house to see what was happening. All I could see was smoke pouring out of the house."

Sinn Fein Councillor Chris O'Leary, who had met Helena several times, was one of the first on the scene yesterday morning. "I would know the family fairly well and my thoughts are with Helena's parents, Joe and Helena, and also Ryan's mother Josephine.

"The fire brigade and the gardai were very prompt and they did their best to save lives, which they did.

"It's very sad for all those involved, they are a very united family. You can imagine that little Ryan was looking forward to opening Easter eggs."

Some residents from the area brought flowers to the family home, which was sealed off by a garda forensic unit.

Irish Independent