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Britney pays tribute to fan killed In funfair fall

BRITNEY Spears has sent her condolences to the family of an Irish woman who died minutes after leaving her concert in Dublin.

Siobhan Healy (31) from Ballinlough, Co Roscommon, was killed after falling from the Tip Top fairground ride outside The O2 arena in the Point Village on Monday evening.

Siobhan, who friends called Britney due to her resemblance to the pop star, had been looking forward to attending the gig with her cousin for weeks.

"I was saddened to hear of the tragic accident in Dublin," said the American singer last night.

"My heart goes out to the family."

Siobhan's mother Doreen spoke of her distress at the death of her only child yesterday.

"I'm just heartbroken," she said.

"She's the only one I have ... she was an only child and her dad [Kieran] died 11 years ago, She was my pride and joy."

Siobhan (pictured), who had graduated with a higher diploma in finance from Dublin's DIT last year, had been working for an international banking company following the move from her job at Willis Insurance Brokers in Dublin last summer.

"I was very proud of her as a daughter and she never gave me any trouble.

"I'll be very lonely without her," Doreen added.

"Siobhan had really been looking forward to the concert," her mum said.

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

"We believe that Siobhan somehow slipped off the ride and banged her head.

"She died in the Mater hospital early [yesterday] morning."

Gardai from Store Street Garda Station are currently investigating the tragedy, which they believe took place at around 11.20pm.

Investigating officers have appealed for a man who was using his camera phone on the ride at the time.

Kenneth McFadden, the owner of McFadden Entertainment, which owns the ride, said that his son had been operating the machine on Monday night when he heard a "loud bang" and screams.

He stopped the funfair ride immediately.

"It's just a terrible, terrible tragedy and we're absolutely devastated over it," Mr McFadden said.

Mr McFadden said that the ride was only opened once Monday's relentless rain had cleared up. He explained that the machine was tested on the night and that all the safety bars were checked to ensure that they were functioning.

He also remarked that the ride was safety tested and approved each year by an engineer on behalf of the Department of Environment.

Gardai have asked for any member of the public with information to contact them at Store St on 01 6668008 or the Garda confidential line on 1800 666 111.

hnews@herald.ie