| 14.7°C Dublin

Britney fan's funfair fall was 'freak tragedy'

GARDAI believe that the tragic death of a Britney Spears fan who was thrown off a funfair ride was a freak accident.

Siobhan Healy, of Ballin-lough, Co Roscommon, died instantly when she fell from the 12-carriage Tip Top ride outside The O2, following Monday's Britney concert.

An examination by gardai has shown that the victim slipped under the bar and fell out of the ride.

According to safety checks carried out following the incident, the bucket seat and safety barrier holding Miss Healy were working properly.

"It seems to have been a freak incident as a result of a gravity pull," an officer stated last night.

The 31-year-old, who friends called Britney due to her resemblance to the singer, attended the gig with her cousin Fiona Kilboyle before enjoying the funfair at the Point Village.

Pop star Britney has spoken out about the tragedy, which occurred at around 11.20pm after her sell-out concert.



Heartbroken

"I was saddened to hear of the tragic accident in Dublin. "My heart goes out to the family," the American singer said on her social networking page on Tuesday night.

Former DIT student Siobhan, who had graduated with a higher diploma in 2010, had been working for an international banking company following the move from her job at Willis Insurance Brokers in Dublin last summer.

Her mother Doreen has spoken of her distress at the death of her only child: "I'm just heartbroken, she was an only child and her dad, Kieran, died 11 years ago. She was my pride and joy.

"I was very proud of her as a daughter and she never gave me any trouble. I'll be very lonely without her.

"Siobhan had really been looking forward to the concert.

"They had a great time and when they came out the two of them decided to go on the amusements."

Gardai have made contact with one eye-witness who was filming nearby at the time and captured the moments after the accident on their camera phone -- providing further information on what was happening around the ride at the time.

Funfair operator Kenneth McFadden, of McFadden Entertainments, said there had never been problems with the ride.

"It's just a terrible, terrible tragedy and we're absolutely devastated over it," said Mr McFadden, who has owned the ride for five years.

The operator had not planned on opening for business on Monday night due to the torrential rain, but changed his mind when the weather cleared. He said all the safety bars were checked to ensure that they were functioning.

hnews@herald.ie