| 26.1°C Dublin

Horror as blind woman who fell on to tracks killed by train

A VISUALLY-impaired woman killed by a high-speed train tripped and fell on to the tracks due to her disability, her family believe.

Patricia Brennan (57) was struck by a commuter express at Raheny Dart station. The incident occurred at around 1.50pm yesterday when Ms Brennan fell from the station's northbound platform.

A student who was among a group of foreign youths waiting for a train on the opposite side of the platform saw her fall.


The students tried frantically to warn her that a train was approaching, waving their arms to alert the driver who slammed on the emergency brakes but it proved impossible to stop in time.

Ms Brennan was rushed to Beaumont Hospital in a critical condition but later died from her injuries.

"I don't know where she was going at the time. They said she was going to either Howth or Malahide," her sister Marie Fogarty told the Herald.

"She was doing a class in computers so she could have been on her way to that. She was a very extrovert type of person - full of chat and go. Because she was visually-impaired she loved to listen to audio tapes of her favourite books.

"She really enjoyed meeting people for meals and coffees. She loved the theatre and going to the latest plays.

"She had some sight but she used a cane which helped her as she went about her life. She didn't have a guide dog.

"Her sight had deteriorated in the last two years but she didn't let it hold her back.

"She was very determined to live a full life and never felt sorry for herself.

"Patricia had worked as a telephonist in the Bank of Ireland headquarters in Baggot Street and had used that station numerous times. It's incredibly sad.

"But she had finished work in the bank and had taken early retirement. Everybody knew her and she was very outgoing. She loved socialising and loved people."

Ms Brennan was single and had no children.

Iarnrod Eireann expressed its sympathies to the family. Services were suspended between Howth Junction and Connolly for over an hour.


The train was travelling between Dublin's Pearse Street station and Drogheda.

Iarnrod Eireann said that despite the efforts of the driver, "it was impossible to stop before it struck the woman".

Ms Brennan, originally from Cappagh, Co Clare, moved to Dublin years ago. She lived alone in the Ashcroft estate in Raheny for "most of her life".

"She went to St Mary's School for the visually-impaired in Merrion," her sister said.