Mother who lost son in Macroom fire ‘left with nothing’ following the tragedy

The mother of Kenneth Relihan, who died in a house fire in Macroom last week, has been left with “nothing” following the tragedy, her daughter said yesterday.

Mother who lost son in Macroom fire ‘left with nothing’ following the tragedy

The fire in St Colman’s Park estate claimed the lives of Kenneth, 27, and Noel O’Mahony, 62, who was visiting the house. Kenneth’s mother, Nóirín McAuliffe, 61, only escaped the blaze after jumping from an upstairs window.

Sinead McAuliffe said her mother had lost everything in the fire and appealed for the public’s help in providing anything they could to make Nóirín’s life easier when she is released from hospital.

“She is broken-hearted, of course. She can’t see how she is going to get through it but she will be OK physically. Mentally, I’d say she will never again be OK,” Sinead McAuliffe told 96FM.

Ms McAuliffe said she had been down to the house every day since the fire but that more than four decades of family memories had been lost in the fire.

“There’s nothing. Forty-two years of family and memories just gone completely from it,” she said.

“I went into Kenny’s room and there was his horse- riding gear. I got that out. I had that for the church. That was really important to him because he loved his horse riding and he loved going to the equestrian centre in Farnanes.”

Ms McAuliffe said they had broken the news to her mother that Kenneth had died in the fire only on Monday. “Myself and my brother broke the news to her on Monday. She couldn’t believe it. When we told her there was a house fire, she said, ‘Where was Kenny staying, was he staying with you, Sinead?’

“We just had to tell her then. She wanted to know if he was buried . He was. He was buried last Saturday but I got it recorded for her by a local man here.”

Ms McAuliffe said her mother remains in hospital with broken ribs and a broken shoulder. The family is working with the council to source accommodation for Nóirin when she is discharged. “I don’t want her coming out of there with nothing. She is after losing enough. It could take six months, it could take longer... The council have been outstanding.”

People wishing to help the McAuliffe family can go to or can donate through Bank of Ireland, Macroom; account number 77183466, sort code: 90-57-90.

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