Tributes paid to childcare worker who died in blaze

Stacey Dunlea

Prayers were said at masses yesterday for the young woman who perished in a house fire in east Cork at the weekend.

Midleton-based Rev Tadhg O’Donovan led tributes to childcare assistant Stacey Dunlea, 22, who will be buried following Requiem Mass at the Church of the Most Holy Rosary in the town tomorrow. “It came as a terrible shock when everybody heard the news. She was a lovely girl, full of life and vitality, full of the joy of living and of life,” he said.

Gardaí say they are fully satisfied that the blaze, which broke out in the family home on the town’s New Cork Road in the early hours of Saturday morning was accidental.

The alarm was raised at around 3.30am and units of the fire brigade from Midleton and Cobh rushed to the scene.

Firefighters recovered Stacey’s body from the building a short time later but she was pronounced dead at the scene.

A postmortem examination took place at Cork University Hospital and a file will be prepared for the coroner’s court.

Firefighters rescued three people from the building, her father Paddy, one of her brothers and one of her sisters.

They were all taken to the Mercy University Hospital for treatment for what were described as minor injuries, before being released a short time later.

Gardaí conducted a full forensic examination of the house which suffered little external damage.

The Dunlea family is well-known and well-respected in the town. Stacey’s father, Paddy, is involved with Midleton GAA. Stacey was also very involved in several local charitable causes.

“She was of course much loved by her own family. Words can’t express the sorrow, hurt and sense of loss they are feeling,” he said.

“They are carrying a terrible burden of loss and hurt. But Midleton by its nature is a community where people care for and about each other. “The family will have huge support in the days, weeks and months ahead. We will carry them through this terrible time.”

She is survived by parents, Chrissie and Paddy, sisters Triona, Christine, Louise and Mary, and by her brothers Patrick, Christopher and Pearce.

Her remains are reposing at Triona’s home in Beechwood Court from 3pm today. Following a rosary Monday her remains will be removed to The Church of the Most Holy Rosary at 7pm.

She will be buried in Holy Rosary Cemetery after her funeral mass at 2pm tomorrow.


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