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Dublin: 15 °C Sunday 26 May, 2019
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Priest killed in Kerry house fire

Gearoid O’Donnachada was a retired lecturer and local historian.

Image: Shutterstock/manfredxy

A PRIEST HAS died in a house fire near Tralee.

Father Gearoid O’Donnchada was killed in the blaze in the early hours of this morning.

The fire broke out in his home on Island road, Fenit village. It was reported at around 1.45am and three units of the fire brigade attended the scene, the fire was brought under control by around 4.30am.

Senior assistant chief fire officer, Vincent Hussey, told TheJournal.ie that firefighters carried out a search and rescue using a breathing apparatus and quickly recovered a casualty from a first floor bedroom.

Efforts were made to resuscitate the man but they were unsuccessful. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The 82-year-old priest was a retired lecturer and local historian.

He had served in the UK and USA and published a book on the journey of the 6th Century Kerry saint, St Brendan the Navigator.

Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris expressed his sympathy on the death, saying:

“The people of the parish of Fenit and the wider community are horrified at the tragic death of Fr. O’Donnchada this morning.

His passing has left a deep void and sense of bewilderment in the area which has suffered many tragedies over the years, people like Fr. O’Donnchada were always there to help in these situations.

“I know the parish of Fenit will rally around to help his family at this terrible time.”

The cause of the fire is not yet known but gardaí say they are not treating it as suspicious.

Read: “In 30 years I’ve never seen this scale; this level of tragedy” – Carrickmines fire officer>

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