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Tragic nurse was due to fly home

THE nurse who drowned in her Dublin basement flat had booked tickets to go home to her native Philippines for Christmas, devastated relatives have revealed.

Filipino nurse Celia Ferrer de Jesus (58), who supported her family back home, died on Monday night after flood waters trapped her in her basement flat.

Celia, who had been living in Ireland for 10 years and had become an Irish citizen in the summer, was due to visit her husband Angelito -- who had worked in Ireland as a care worker until losing his job -- and their son Michael Kevin (19) in December.

She worked as a nurse in Our Lady's Hospice in Harold's Cross and lived nearby.

She had booked and paid for the trip -- but now her grieving husband will travel to Ireland to say his farewells.

"We just can't take this in," her heartbroken son said.

"I don't know what to do but I guess my dad will go there soon for mum."

A relation, Ofelia Soldevilla, said that Celia had been looking forward to the trip.

"I talked to her three days ago and she was happy and longing to go home again this coming Christmas.







Collapsed

"We were planning to go to the USA and Italy I was supposed to visit her this coming week," she added.

Celia's flat, on Parnell Road, in Harold's Cross, was flooded after a wall opposite Our Lady's Hospice collapsed, creating an 8ft wave.

Neighbours tried to save her as her basement home quickly filled with water, but their efforts were in vain.

Meanwhile, the removal of brave Garda Ciaran Jones, who was swept away by flood waters while trying to divert traffic away from a dangerous bridge near Blessington, is taking place today.

The removal of the 25-year-old will be to St Brigid's Church, in Manor Kilbride, Co Wicklow, this evening.

The Wicklow GAA player will have a State funeral tomorrow.

hnews@herald.ie