The 60-year-old partner of tragic Jim Brennan, who was killed when thugs who stole a car smashed into his vehicle, is too ill to attend his funeral this morning.
Mr Brennan (81) was killed and his partner Bernie Weafer suffered horrific injuries in the hit-and-run collision near Ferns, Co Wexford, on Monday night by two Traveller criminals who are currently the focus of a major garda manhunt.
Armed officers raided a house in the Hill Street area of Wexford town yesterday but failed to locate the suspects, who had been on a crime spree throughout Wexford and Wicklow before the fatal crash.
His heartbroken daughter spoke to the Herald yesterday about the grief that her family are feeling after the tragedy.
Speaking ahead of Mr Brennan's funeral, which takes place in Castledockrell, Co Wexford, this morning, Caroline Donohoe said that she is struggling to come to terms with the loss of her dad, who she described as "a very quiet man" who "idolised" his grandchildren.
Caroline recalled that Jim was a major sports enthusiast who loved-horse racing and the GAA and had been talking about horses when she last saw him alive at her home on Monday evening.
After the visit, Jim and Bernie, his beloved partner of over 40 years, travelled to Courtown to play bingo.
It was while on their way home from this trip that two criminals, who were driving a stolen Volvo car, ploughed into the Corolla being driven by Jim at around 10.30pm.
While Jim was killed almost instantly in the horror smash, his partner suffered serious injuries which included a dislocated shoulder, a fractured pelvis, a fractured nose and other head injuries.
Bernie is still being treated at Wexford General Hospital.
"She is heavily sedated at the moment but we have spoken to her and she is aware of what is going on. She is very upset that she can't go to the funeral but she is not able to go," Caroline explained.
She said that her mother has "no memory" of the crash which happened "in a split second."
Caroline pointed out that her dad Jim "adored children" and was considered a father-figure to many others within their family unit and was known to many as 'Uncle Jim.'
In particular, he "idolised" his grandchildren and loved nothing more than bringing the seven and two-year-old children on drives to places like a local nature reserve and restaurants.
Caroline said that her youngest child, a seven-month-old baby, was the "apple of Jim's eye" and he loved spending time with her.
She remembered her dad as a highly-dignified man who spent years working hard as a sheep and dairy farmer in the Rossard area of Bunclody, Co Wexford, before he re-located to the Cherryorchard area of Enniscorthy a number of years ago.
Caroline also paid tribute to the work of gardai in the case.