‘Gas’ victim funeral is delayed for ill sister

THE funeral of the woman who died of suspected carbon monoxide poisoning in a Cork hotel is being delayed in the hope her hospitalised sister will be well enough to attend.

Miriam Reidy, 35, from Ballyhahill in west Limerick, died at the Trident Hotel in Kinsale, Co Cork on Sunday while on a hen party weekend away.

Her sister, Patricia, 37, who was sharing the room with her and who was rushed in a critical condition to Cork University Hospital (CUH), is making a steady recovery.

The Dublin-based banker employee is still in a “stable” condition, a spokesperson for the HSE said last night.

She was well enough to be released from the intensive care unit and she is now being cared for on an ordinary ward.

Her parents, John and Josie along with sister Siobhán, and her husband, who are all maintaining a vigil at her bedside, broke the news of Miriam’s tragic death to her on Tuesday.

A family friend said: “Her family decided on Tuesday evening she was in a good enough state of mind to be told about Miriam. She was absolutely devastated when told the news, but she had a feeling that Miriam hadn’t made it. She is now struggling to take in everything that’s happened since the weekend and come to terms with the fact she will never see her again.”

The family was last night preparing to bring Miriam’s body back to the family home in Ballyhahill where she will be waked today. The funeral is likely to take place on Saturday and the family is liaising with Patricia’s doctors at CUH before finalising arrangements.

Meanwhile, Garda investigations into the cause of the tragedy are ongoing.

The Irish Examiner has established that doctors from the out-of-hours SouthDoc service were called to the Trident hotel at least twice on Saturday night and early on Sunday morning to attend to at least four guests, including Miriam Reidy.

Two ambulances were also called to the hotel before the alarm was raised at 2pm on Sunday, and two people, a man and woman, who were not part of the hen party, were taken to CUH.

SouthDoc has declined to comment on the cases. It said it has provided a report to the gardaí.

Two more female guests who presented themselves to the Mercy University Hospital have been discharged.

Gardaí have a list of about 90 guests who were staying at the hotel and they are contacting them for statements. They are trying to establish which guests contacted doctors themselves, or presented themselves at hospitals later.

A consultant engineer from England, whose assistance was requested by the gardaí, ran a series of tests on the hotel’s LPG-fuelled boiler yesterday in an effort to find the source of the ‘silent killer’ gas, which it is suspected killed Ms Reidy.

The hotel will remain closed the tests are complete. This could take several days. He appealed to anyone who stayed at the Trident on Saturday night, or who visited the hotel at the weekend but did not stay, to contact gardaí on 023-8852200.

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