Mother of five found dead in Galway hotel room was the 'very essence of life'

A mother of five found dead in a hotel room in Galway earlier this week was the “very essence of life” and a much-loved parent, grandmother, and childminder, says the priest in her parish of Donoughmore, Co Cork.

Fr Jeremiah O’Riordan said Betty Harrington, aged 64, was a fit, active woman.

“Betty was always walking and cycling. She was a very lively person, who was as fit as anything, involved in hill-walking and set-dancing. She was a great mother. That was her true vocation. Her children are all grown up now. She was also a childminder. A woman was telling me, at mass, that if Betty was minding your child, you knew the child was being minded.”

Fr O’Riordan said parishioners are attempting to “comprehend, and come to terms” with, the loss of Mrs Harrington.

“She was a good-living woman. She was a very positive person, who spoke well of everyone. At Mass the other night, someone heard that it was a Betty Harrington who had died and we didn’t know if it was our Betty. People were in clusters, trying to understand it. She was a lovely person.”

Gardaí and the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) are awaiting the results of an autopsy. Her body was discovered at the Connemara Lake Hotel, in Oughterard, shortly before noon on Monday.

She was among a group of walkers staying in the area for a few days. Two other hotel guests received treatment at UHG on Monday, and were subsequently released.

Betty is survived by her husband, Donal (Dan), children, Debbie, Jennifer, Donna, Daniel and Anne, and her grandchildren.

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