herald

Saturday 19 August 2017

Tragic Grace 'loved her fiance and loved Ireland', says sister

Fire victim Grace McDermott
Fire victim Grace McDermott

The sister of fire victim Grace McDermott has paid a moving tribute to her sibling following her funeral in Dublin.

"She was my older sister and my other half," said Kristen McDermott (24).

Bride-to-be Grace (26) died in a blaze at a house in Annacotty, Limerick, in the early hours of Monday, May 1.

"Grace was full of life and love," said Kristen, who travelled with her family from the US for the funeral.

"She was always searching for the next adventure."

Grace, from Long Island, New York, was working as a lecturer at Dublin City University, where she was also studying for a PhD.

She had a deep love for her fiance, Colin O'Neill, from Portmarnock, Dublin, and a great love for Ireland, said her sister.

"She was so excited to be with Colin, the love of her life. The second love of her life was Ireland," said Kristen.

Her parents, Robert and Leslie, also travelled from New York for the funeral at Dardistown Crematorium last Friday. She is also survived by her brothers, Matthew and Peter.

"We're just really going to miss her," said Kristen.

Dedication

Grace attended university in the US and travelled to Ireland to complete a college semester at the University of Limerick.

She had decided to return to Ireland when she graduated.

"Limerick was what made her fall in love with Ireland and her fiance Colin was what made her stay in love with Ireland," Kristen told the Herald.

She spoke of Grace's dedication to the blog that she co-founded with her friend Catherine Connolly, Women Are Boring, which highlighted academic research by women.

"I want to acknowledge her dedication to her blog Women Are Boring," Kristen said.

"She was so dedicated to promoting other women's research. We're hoping that will continue in her honour, and it will.

"She and Catherine picked the title as something that would grab your attention. She had dedicated her life to the blog.

"We're so grateful to everyone who came to the funeral. There were tons and tons of people and we're so thankful to everyone who showed up to show their support.

"It provided some comfort for my parents and for myself and my family."

Grace's father Robert was praised by Irish friends of Grace for showing so much concern for them following her death.

Mum Leslie said Grace was "planning her wedding to the greatest guy in the world".

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