Since a suspected carbon monoxide leak at the upmarket Trident Hotel was uncovered, the Co Cork town of Kinsale has been left numb with grief.
One woman who had been part of a hen party celebration for her first cousin is dead, her sister has been hospitalised, and a number of other guests have been treated for what is understood to be carbon monoxide poisoning.
Closed curtains and a cornered-off Garda area cannot keep the trauma of the situation from view.
“It is a total tragedy. It has rocked the town,” said local councillor Kevin Murphy, a comment repeated by tourism spokesperson Dermot Ryan.
Jack Walsh, general manager at the nearby Actons Hotel which took in 25 guests from the Trident when 36-year-old Miriam Reidy’s body was found on Sunday afternoon, said the area has been devastated by what happened.
All individuals transferred to the second accommodation were tested for potential carbon monoxide poisoning on their arrival.
While a small number had reported symptoms such as nausea and dizziness, no further positive diagnoses emerged. However, the reality that such a tragedy could have happened to anyone was not far from the community’s mind.
The Trident Hotel complex, which has been renovated in recent years to become a jewel in Kinsale’s tourism crown, was yesterday a shadow of its former self; 150 staff have been told their place of employment will not re-open until investigations are complete.
However, the situation was far from the minds of hotel representatives.
“We are devastated by what has happened and our sincere thoughts are with the families of those concerned,” said hotel general manager Hal McElroy.