herald

Sunday 19 August 2018

Guests called doctor just hours before hen night gas tragedy

PROBE: Woman found dead in hotel bedroom after party

HOTEL guests reported being violently ill just hours before the body of a young woman was discovered in a room below them.

Miriam Reidy (35) died from a suspected carbon monoxide build up in the bedroom of the Trident Hotel in Kinsale, Cork.

Her sister Patricia Reidy desperately fought to resuscitate her but she was overcome by gas.

Patricia is now battling for her life in Cork University Hospital (CUH).

But just hours before the tragedy unfolded, it is believed hotel guests in the room above the Reidy sisters called for a doctor after feeling ill around 11pm on Saturday night.

The woman had complained of headaches, breathlessness and nausea.



Party

However, it was not until the following afternoon that Miriam Reidy was found unconscious.

Miriam and her sister Patricia were attending a hen party to celebrate the upcoming wedding of their first cousin, Marie Reidy.

Relatives, friends and workmates of the bride-to-be had enjoyed a gala night out in Kinsale on Saturday evening.

But the alarm was raised when Patricia found her sister Miriam unresponsive in the upstairs bedroom of the Trident Hotel that they were sharing shortly before 12 noon yesterday.

A total of five people ultimately fell ill from the suspected effects of the gas.

Miriam and Patricia Reidy grew up in the rural parish of Ballyhahill, Co Limerick.

They have one sister, Siobhan, who is married locally and all three girls are believed to have worked in the bank.

Their parents John and Josie Reidy are highly respected in the local community.

Miriam and Patricia were attending the hen party for their first cousin Marie Reidy, also from Ballyhahill, who is getting married in February.



Saddened

Cllr Stephen Keary said that the Reidy family have connections to the Ballyhahill area for many generations.

"I'm shocked and saddened by the whole event," he said. "It's an awful tragedy for the family and extended friends and will put a dampener on the forthcoming event.

"All I can do is express my sympathy to the family."

Parish priest Fr Gerard O'Leary said that the family are held in "high esteem in the community"

"The whole parish is deeply, deeply shocked by the tragedy," he said.

"It's a very, very tragic situation.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family now. The news has come as a terrible shock -- they were just attending a happy night out."

Trident Hotel manager, Hal McElroy, told the Herald they are appalled by the events.

"We are all devastated and shocked at the misfortunate incident that occurred in our hotel.

"Firstly our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of those who have been affected by this," he said.

"As there are Garda and Health and Safety Authority investigations under way we are not in a position to comment further on the actual incident but are cooperating fully with the investigations."

"Our immediate concern is to ensure that all guests and staff are safe and looked after.

"Guests and staff have been checked by the HSE medical team who were on site at the hotel this afternoon."



Evacuated

"While the investigation is being carried out the hotel has been temporarily evacuated. All guests have been accommodated locally," he added.

A total of five people ultimately fell ill from the suspected effects of the gas.

Three women were transferred to Cork University Hospital (CUH) for assessment and treatment.

Two other people -- also hotel guests -- later presented themselves at the Mercy University Hospital (MUH) for treatment after falling ill.

hnews@herald.ie

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