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Mum dies on dream 50th birthday holiday

THE FUNERAL of a mother who died while on holidays after fulfilling a lifelong dream is to take place on Monday.

Mother-of-two Jane O'Connor (49) suffered a massive heart attack just hours after swimming with dolphins in a Florida water park.

The remains of Ms O'Connor, who lived off the South Circular Road, Dublin, arrived at Dublin Airport yesterday morning in advance of her funeral on Monday.

The service will take place in the Church of St Paul of the Cross in Mount Argus -- the same church where she got married to her husband Niall.

It was Niall who found the body of his wife of 23 years last Friday night in the holiday home where they were staying.

Along with their two teenage sons, Luke and Aaron, they had been on a two-week holiday to celebrate Jane's 50th birthday.

She would have been 50 next week.

Just hours before her death, the family had spent the day in the Discovery Cove theme park.

There, Jane was finally able to fulfil her dream of swimming with dolphins.

Mr O'Connor said his wife, who was a special needs assistant, had loved dolphins and had always wanted to swim with them.

Instead of holding a party for her 50th birthday, the family decided to go to Orlando.

Jane died after returning to their rented holiday home from a meal out. She was found collapsed in a bathroom just before midnight.

Terribly

Efforts by emergency services personnel to revive her failed and she was pronounced dead in hospital a short time later.

Jane will be missed terribly by staff and pupils of St Louis Junior School in Rathmines where she worked.

On the school's website, a note has been posted stating everyone has been "deeply saddened by the untimely passing" of their friend and colleague.

She was also heavily involved in nearby St Mary's College, where Aaron (15) is a student and Luke (18) has just finished.

Mr O'Connor described Jane as his "life", adding the family has lost someone "very, very special".

Her death notice states she died suddenly "on her dream trip to swim with the dolphins in Florida".

She is survived by Niall, Luke and Aaron as well as her brothers John and Harry, sister Elizabeth,extended family, and many friends.

hnews@herald.ie