herald

Sunday 19 November 2017

'I just turned around and he was gone'- tragic honeymooner's wife

Andrew Roddy and Gill Campion met through work and tied the knot just two weeks ago
Andrew Roddy and Gill Campion met through work and tied the knot just two weeks ago

The heartbroken wife of a Dublin man who died while snorkelling on their honeymoon has told his family how she turned around and he had disappeared.

Andrew Roddy, from Killester, died on Tuesday while swimming with his new wife Gill Campion in the Maldives. He had just turned 30.

His mother, Marion Roddy, said she was desperate to know why her only child, who was a strong swimmer and "very fit," was taken away from her so suddenly.

Speaking to the Herald from her home, she said she couldn't come to terms with his sudden death.

She received the terrible news on Wednesday morning, when Gill rang her from the Indian Ocean archipelago, where the couple had been honeymooning.

Tears

"Gill said they were out swimming and looking at dolphins or something," Marion said.

"She said: 'I turned around and Andrew was gone' and she didn't know how it happened because they were near each other at the time.

"I really don't know what happened, and I want to know. Andrew was very fit and he was a strong swimmer.

"I don't know if he had a heart attack or something, but he has no history of any heart trouble.

"Maybe he was stung by a jellyfish or something. I will have to wait for the post-mortem to find out."

Marion spoke about how her son was always very active.

"Andrew has been very involved with sports all his life," she said, speaking through her tears.

"He got all sorts of medals playing for the schools and the local clubs. Anything to do with sport he loved, but it's all over now.

"He only turned 30 last week. It's an awful tragedy.

"They couldn't wait to get back from the honeymoon to tell me all about it. They were so excited," she added.

"They were due back on Monday and he said it was the best holiday he ever had.

"I never had a day's trouble with Andrew - they say God only takes the best.

"They had a deposit put by for a house and were looking forward to their new lives together. He was a big tall lad. He was a big softie and he was loved by everyone."

Marion said Andrew had a health scare when his appendix burst while he was in college.

"The doctor said he was lucky they operated on time," she added.

"It was a scare at the time but he was fit and he came through it."

Andrew worked for the New Ireland Assurance group.

"He met Gill through work, and they were great together," Marion said.

"I hear his colleagues are all in shock and some of them had to go home they were so upset when they heard the news."

She said her thoughts were also with her son's wife, who has been left heartbroken in the Maldives.

"Gill's father flew out and was due to arrive today," she said.

"She's on her own over there and she hadn't seen Andrew since he was taken from the sea.

Terrible

"She was so far away with nobody with her. It's terrible."

Andrew and Gill were married just two weeks ago and planned the honeymoon to be the holiday of a lifetime.

Andrew attended St Paul's College in Raheny and went on to study business at Dublin City University.

He worked for 10 years in the credit union business and then found a job as a retention specialist with New Ireland Assurance.

The Department of Foreign Affairs told the Herald it was providing consular assistance to Mr Roddy's family.

There is no Irish embassy in the Maldives.

However, officials at the Irish embassy in the Indian capital New Delhi have been liaising with the authorities in the Maldivian capital Male over the tragedy.

Officials from the Maldives Police Service could not be reached for comment last night.

Local councillor Damian O'Farrell said he was saddened to hear of the incident and was thinking of the family in their time of need.

"I have just heard the news and it is an awful tragedy," he said.

Awful

"My thoughts and prayers go out to the family, and I am sure the same can be said for all the residents in the area.

"It's just an awful tragedy."

Mr Roddy's death is the second drowning to rock the string of tropical islands in just over a week.

Last week, a local police officer drowned while swimming off an uninhabited island.

Constable Mohamed Haneef (32) was swimming with his wife off the island known as GA Raivereha when he was swept away by a current.

The policeman's body was recovered two hours after he went missing.

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