| 2.4°C Dublin

Tributes to Dublin mum killed in fire

WELL-wishers have paid tribute to a mother and a mechanic who died in a fire in Co Galway.

Nuala Sweeney (65) was originally from Dublin but had been living in Gort for 10 years.

Ms Sweeney, the mother of four grown-up children, and Ben Whiteman (38) died in a blaze in the flat they were sleeping in on Station Road.

Mr Whiteman, from Stafford in England, had lived in the town for several years.

Friends said Ms Sweeney was a well-educated, quiet woman who loved nature.


"She was a fantastic neighbour", local Deirdre Malborough added. "It's just dreadful what has happened.

"When we saw the fire we were hoping they weren't in the house at the time."

Michael Slattery, who attended college in Trinity at the same time as Ms Sweeney, also paid tribute to her.

"She was a lovely woman," he said. "I knew her for more than 45 years."

Friends described Mr Whiteman as a talented mechanic. And local man Des Kavanagh said that he had been an "absolute gentleman".

The fire is understood to have broken out in the bedroom where Ms Sweeney was sleeping.

The remains of Mr Whiteman were discovered nearby in the living room.

Firefighters battled the blaze for more than two hours before getting it under control.

The remains of both victims were taken to University Hospital Galway where post-mortems were conducted.

A Garda technical examination was carried out at the scene of the double tragedy, but the fire is not being treated as suspicious.