herald

Friday 20 October 2017

I'll never be without the ache of mum's absence, especially since giving birth - Andrea

STILL GRIEVING: Star tells of devastating loss of her mum, who died aged 57

SINGer Andrea Corr has opened up about losing her mother Jean to a rare form of lung disease when she was just 57.

The Dundalk beauty (40) has spoken about how she still hasn't gotten over the heartache of losing her beloved mum to Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) and will mark her 15-year anniversary next month.

The singer, who named her first baby daughter after her mother, revealed that Jean was diagnosed in April 1999 when she was just 25. She passed away from the disease just eight months later.

Transplant

The mum of the four chart-topping siblings died while awaiting a lung transplant in Newcastle Hospital on November 24, 1999.

"She didn't see the new millennium. It still actually shocks me, writing this now, how devastatingly quick that was," Andrea said.

"Before this, she had been a healthy, happy non-smoker. She had a lust for life and an appreciation of the moment. She loved life, she loved daddy and she loved us."

And the other half of financier Brett Desmond said that becoming a mum herself two years ago only made it harder to deal with Jean's passing.

The notoriously-private star, who rarely talks about her personal life, said that it's a pain that won't go away.

"I'll never be without the ache of her absence and sometimes I think I miss her more than ever now I am a mother myself. I named my daughter - my first baby - Jean, after her. I try to keep her alive," she said.

Describing IPF as a "devastating disease", the former lead singer of the Corrs said that she still finds it hard to believe that there's still no cure, 15 years after her mum died of it.

A disease that affects five million worldwide, she was speaking about her family's devastating loss in order to support the IPF fundraising week.

She said she'll be getting her own family involved in the campaign and called on members of the public to donate online to the IPF appeal, which runs until tomorrow.

Herself and Brett, whose father is billionaire businessman Dermot Desmond, added to their brood at the start of this year, after she gave birth to baby boy in a hospital in Washington.

This time around, they paid tribute to the other side of the family and named the baby Brett after Andrea's husband.

Her sister Sharon had said the decision to name her first baby Jean after their mum was a very emotional one for all the Corrs.

"There have been tears over it. It's really beautiful," she said.

Speaking previously about her mother's death, Andrea said that she felt at the time that it made her a stronger person.

"I thought, 'Nothing is going to hurt as bad as this and I'll be able to cope with other things better now.'

"And to a certain extent that's true. I think things get better," she said.

Harder

'Life does throw some hard stuff at you as you get older, much harder. But you are more able to deal with things.'

As one quarter of the chart-topping Corrs, the singer and actress enjoyed huge success worldwide having clocked up album sales of over 30 million and at one point, outselling U2 as one of the biggest Irish exports ever.

Since leaving the band, Andrea has gone on to release a solo album 'Ten Feet High' which enjoyed some degree of success among Irish music fans. Her sister Sharon enjoyed taking centre stage on the Voice of Ireland for two years.

mfinn@herald.ie

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