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Mum's wasp attack death mystery

GARDAI were today trying to verify claims a woman drowned as a result of a wasp attack.

Glamorous mum-of-one Kay Condron fell into the Grand Canal while out for a Sunday walk with her husband.

Distraught spouse Kevin, who was today helping gardai piece together all the circumstances that led to the tragic death, tried in vain to rescue her after she slipped into the water near Tullamore, Co Offaly.

Gardai were following up a newspaper report that Mrs Condron was trying to escape a wasp attack when she drowned.

"That's a mystery to us at this stage. We're looking into it but so far have found nothing to back it up," said a source.

Kay (45), from Screggan in Tullamore, Co Offaly, was walking with her husband along the canal at an isolated spot in Mucklagh when the drama unfolded.Detectives will investigate all aspects of claims that a swarm attacked Mrs Condron and that she drowned as she tried to fight off the wasp attack.

“Sure we will look into it but at the moment it looks more like an accident than anything to do with a wasp or bee attack,” said an investigator. A post-mortem will show if the victim suffered any stings.

Both Kay and her husband Kevin (48) were non-swimmers. Kay slipped into the 12ft-deep canal – and her husband was unable to pull her out. Local councillor Johnny Butterfield told the Herald that the area is “devastated by the news”.

dangerous

“It was an awful wet day yesterday, the conditions were terrible.

“There is no fence along the banks in that area so with the wet grass it would have been dangerous.”

A neighbour, who could swim, arrived at the scene and was able to retrieve Kay. A passerby explained that when Kay fell into the water, her husband tried to rescue her but was unable to reach her for a while, as she had been taken out into the centre of the canal. An onlooker who did not wish to be named, attempted CPR but was unable to save the Kerry woman.

“The weather was very wet and windy and the bank at the point was very slippery,” said the passerby, who is a trained lifeguard.

“We were passing when someone alerted us to what was happening. It was very cold…it was really terrible weather.

“I did CPR while we were waiting for the ambulance and medics to arrive.”

Paramedics arrived on the scene but they were unable to revive Mrs Condron and her body was taken to the Midlands Regional Hospital.

Mrs Condron was the director of her husband's tile shop and also worked at Grennan's Butchers in Tullamore. She was due to celebrate her 45th birthday next week. The couple, who have one teenage son, Sean, lived in Homshill, Blueball in Offaly.

“We are all devastated by the news, it was a very tragic accident,” Cllr Butterfield said.

“Kay is from Kerry originally, she was a very handsome young woman.

“It’s a devastating blow to the husband and the community in general.”

A local resident who paid tribute to Mrs Condron recalled that she had been in work on Saturday as normal.

“Kay was very glamourous and young-looking. People thought she was in her 20s.”

Relatives of Mrs Condron were too distraught to speak when approached by the Herald.


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