Restaurant owners tell of son's death

Wed, Jan 2, 2013, 00:00

The mother of second-level student Andrew Clarke, who died when a car under which he was working fell on him, has spoken about how she “willed him to live” as she travelled with him in an ambulance to Dublin’s Tallaght Hospital.

The tragic accident involving the 16-year-old son of well-known Dublin restaurant owners Sallyanne and Derry Clarke happened last Thursday. He died on Monday.

“I found him at about 1.40pm last Thursday,” Ms Clarke said. “He was cold and unconscious by his car in the garage. He’d bought a VW Jetta and was very busy fixing it up. We did CPR on him in the ambulance and they managed to get a heartbeat. I was literally willing him to live all the time.

“Andrew was 6ft 4in and about 17 stone, but he was our baby boy. Once they got the heartbeat, they moved him into the ICU in Tallaght and we thought he actually had a fighting chance. However, Andrew had severe brain damage. The doctors declared him brain dead on Monday afternoon.”

The family, which includes his sister Sarah May (22), will bring him to their home at Crooksling in the Dublin mountains tomorrow. His body will remain there overnight before being taken to the chapel at Clongowes Wood College for a service at 6.30pm. Funeral Mass will take place there on Saturday at 11am and he will be buried later at Mount Jerome Cemetery in Harold’s Cross.

The Clarkes, who have owned and run the award-winning L’Ecrivain in Dublin for 23 years, paid tribute to their only son – whose organs have been donated to help others – and all he managed to pack into his short life.

“He was a wonderful, kind and very witty boy with a heart of gold,” his mother said. “He was a larger-than-life and a thoroughly lovable rascal. He loved everyone and everyone loved him in return. He really loved Clongowes Wood College, where he boarded. We still saw him most Wednesdays and Saturdays and always every Sunday. He also had contact every day with at least one of us by phone or email.

“He helped us in the restaurant occasionally and all the team members there adored him, but his first love was cars . . .”