Monday 10 December 2018

Daughter recalls 'amazing, gentle and caring' mother

Irene White.
Irene White.

Olivia Ryan

Irene White's daughter Jennifer McBride spoke this week of the devastating impact that her mother's death had on the family.

In an emotional appearance on RTE's Primetime she recalled the final few hours she and her younger siblings had with their mother. 'That morning we all got up, did our chores, got our breakfast and made our way out the door. Everyone got into the car and then headed off to school.'

She recalled how she was in art class when her school's chaplain called her out of the room to inform her about her mother's death.

'I was taken into the principal's suite and my best friend's mam and sister were there. There was also a guard. I was then told that mam had passed away.'

Jennifer wasn't given specific details at the time, but as she passed her house she knew that something more sinister must have occurred.

'My friend's mam took me to her house and when we drove passed my home it was then when I saw camera crews, garda tapes, squad cars and people coming and going. I thought to myself there is obviously something else going on.'

She said her mother's death didn't hit her until she saw her grandmother. 'That's when the walls came crashing down. She was as strong as she could be, but I knew then and that's when I collapsed on top of her.'

It was Irene's mother Maureen, known as Nanny Mo, who found the body, a sight that traumatised her until her death.

'She passed away just six months later on what would have been mam's 44th birthday,' she said. 'I don't think she ever came to terms with what she had seen. It haunted her. Every time she closed her eyes that's what she would vision. I believe she passed on from a broken heart.'

Jennifer described her mum as an 'amazing, gentle and caring woman.'

'She would always try to encourage and nurture. She had many friends and just had a zest for life. She had warmth about her that you would just gravitate towards. She was genuinely a lovely person, but above all an amazing mother.'

The Argus