Widow of Greek fire victim angry husband was ‘stolen’ four days after marriage

Brian O’Callaghan-Westropp funeral told of life filled with ‘love, kindness and adventure’

Brian O’Callaghan-Westropp. Photograph: GoFundMe

Brian O’Callaghan-Westropp. Photograph: GoFundMe

 

The wife of Greek fire victim, Brian O’Callaghan-Westropp told mourners she is still very angry he was stolen from her after less than four days of marriage in such a cruel manner.

Zoe Holohan was speaking at a memorial service and a celebration of the life of her late husband who died on the couple’s honeymoon in Greece last July.

The newly weds were honeymooning in the coastal resort of Mati, near Athens on July 23rd, when they were caught up in a blaze.

The couple got separated in the panic during the fire and Brian’s remains were recovered from the sea a number of hours later.

Ms Holohan wiped away tears at the top of Kilnasoolagh Church in the Clare village of Newmarket on Fergus on Saturday as she recalled their wedding day, “the happiest day of my life”.

Ms Holohan said: “I am still very angry Brian was stolen from me after less than four days of marriage in such a cruel manner.”

She said everyone had to come to the church “for the man I loved, the man we all loved”.

She said she was thankful for every day she had with her husband. “He is the best partner anyone could ever ask for.”

The couple were together for four years before their marriage and Ms Holohansaid: “He was forever patient and smiling. Brian’s smile is probably the thing I miss the most about him.

“Brian was 46 when he was taken from me. He filled his years on this planet with love, kindness and adventure and he will never be forgotten.”

She said her husband was “utterly kind, and his work as a voluntary worker is testament to that.”

Mr O’Callaghan-Westropp was a member of ‘Blood Bikes East’ which provides free medical transport service between hospitals in Dublin.

Ms Holohan was injured in the Greek fire and required a crutch to support her in and out of the Church on Saturday.

The families and friends of the couple came together to bless Brian’s ashes that were placed at the top of the church - Brian’s remains were cremated at an earlier service here which Ms Holohan was unable to attend as she was recovering from her injuries in a Greek hospital.

Ms Holohan referred to the “heart-breaking” number of months she had endured, saying her father - Colm Holohan died suddenly after a short illness on August 12th, just weeks after her husband’s death.

Ms Holohan paid tribute to her “incredible” family, friends along with the “kindness of strangers” for their support since the tragedy. She said: “You kept me alive.”

At the end of her euglogy, the congregation got to their feet to give Ms Holohan a standing ovation.

In attendance at the Church were the aide de camp to President Michael D Higgins, Captain Eoin Troy and Aide de Camp to Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, Captain Ciaran Woulfe along with the Irish ambassador to Greece, Ms Orla O’Hanrahan.