herald

Wednesday 7 December 2016

'We lost all in blaze, but community helped so much', says mum-of-six

Fire

Antoinette Geoghegan, who is living in a hotel room with with her children Daisy, Chloe, Holly, and Sean after their home was damaged by a fire.
Antoinette Geoghegan, who is living in a hotel room with with her children Daisy, Chloe, Holly, and Sean after their home was damaged by a fire.

A mother of six children whose home was gutted by fire said she was deeply moved by the generosity of strangers who helped her family out.

Antoinette Geoghegan (29) expressed relief that she and her six children escaped unhurt when the blaze destroyed the family home in Dublin.

A fundraising concert, organised by former RTE Voice of Ireland contestant Kenneth Usher, to help get the family back on their feet, takes place in Tallaght on January 22.

"I'm really grateful to Kenneth Usher and everybody who is taking part in the concert," she said.

"My family have already received very generous gifts of clothes and toys. We lost everything in the fire," she told the Herald.

Ms Geoghegan and her children, aged from one to 11 years old, were all at home in their council-owned house in Tallaght last Sunday week when the fire broke out just before 7pm.

Ms Geoghegan, who is expecting her seventh child in April, said the fire was incredibly distressing for everyone.

"We were all upstairs when the smoke alarm went off. When I saw the flames downstairs, I shouted to the children 'get out, get out.'

"I grabbed my baby, Daisy, who was wearing just her nappy, and we all ran out of the house," she said.

"I was panicking and shaking but we all got out."

The fire gutted the house in Old Court Manor. All their possessions were destroyed.

Two of Antoinette's sons are now staying with their father while Antoinette and her four other children are staying at a hotel in south west Dublin.

She was deeply upset at the loss of her home as she had only moved in six weeks previously.

Before that, she had several different addresses in rented accommodation and had been hugely relieved to finally get a more permanent home for her family.

Plight

Mr Usher (28), a Voice of Ireland contestant last year, was moved by the plight of the family and decided to organise the fund-raising concert.

"People and local businesses are great for helping out in situations like this," the musician said.

"My own daughter will be two next month so I really felt for the children after the fire."

The fundraiser will take place at Grumpy McClaffery's in Tallaght on Friday evening.

Mr Usher will perform at the concert along with other local acts, including Paper Crowns and Luke Clerkin and The All Sorts.

Tickets cost €5. Further details for tickets or donations are on the Give Hope To The Geoghegans Facebook event page or email Kennethusher37@gmail.com.

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