herald

Friday 17 August 2018

She's our angel now say family of tragic Rachel who froze to death

GRIEF: 'How could this happen in modern Ireland?'

THE brother of tragic Rachel Peavoy, who froze to death in her home, said they now see her as the family's "angel".

Rachel (30) died of hypothermia in her Ballymun flat after the council turned off her heating in January of last year during one of the coldest periods on record.

And her brother, Terry Peavoy, today told the Herald that he prays to Rachel every night.

"She's like a higher power to me now, she's our angel, and we pray to her every night," he said from his Ballymun home.

"Rachel was so fit and well, she didn't drink or anything. She was into her kickboxing, it's just hard to believe she could die like that, freezing in her home.

Children

"She was top class, and dedicated herself to her two children. They were actually here the night she died. It was too cold for them to stay in the flat," he said.

Rachel had appealed to the council to restore her central heating in the flat that she lived in with her two young sons, but was unsuccessful.

She was found dead in her flat on Shangan Road in Ballymun on January 11 last year.

Gardai who arrived at the scene noted the flat was "freezing".

The mum-of-two leaves behind her young children, Leon and Warren. And now those closest to her have told of their devastation at her death.

Terry said that everyone was totally shocked that such a tragedy could occur in modern Ireland.

"My mam is 70 and it's like Rachel's died again today.

"She is crying all day and it is an awful lot for her to take on," he said.

"Rachel was the most beautiful, bubbly girl in the world. I know I'm her brother saying that, but she was a really, really loving mother.

"She went to Dublin City Council loads of times about the heating.

"She wanted it on for her kids. She lived for her kids and was a full-time mother."

An inquest heard that the council told the young mother that it was "impossible" to restore heating because flats around her were vacant and because regeneration work was ongoing.

Housing Minister Noel Ahern made representations on behalf of Ms Peavoy after she was told her heating would not be reconnected.

Her distraught brother added that they have been mourning their beloved Rachel for the last year.

"The family has been in bits for the last year. She was very bubbly, full of life, just a wonderful person," Terry said.

On the night of her death, Rachel made her last phone call to her mother Celine asking her to babysit her two children for the night, explaining that she would turn off her phone because she had been having trouble sleeping.

Shocking

The court also heard that she visited her GP just one month before her death to request a letter for heating costs.

Following the shocking inquest, a doctor has called for a public inquiry into the death of the mother-of-two.

The next day, after numerous attempts to contact Rachel, her brother Leon Peavoy and friend Jacqueline Johnston let themselves into her flat.

They found her body in the main bedroom.

The inquest was adjourned until February 24 to obtain further statements about the condition of Ms Peavoy's flat.

hnews@herald.ie

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