A retired insurance broker living in Connemara died when fire engulfed his home, a lakeside fishing lodge, early yesterday morning. Mr Patrick Helmore (73) had lived alone in the two-storey house, Crumlin Lodge, near Inverin. The blaze destroyed the building.
Mr Helmore had been semi-invalid. His daughter Lucy was married to the singer Bryan Ferry, a regular visitor to the wooden lodge during the early 1980s.
Mr Ferry featured the lodge on the cover of his 1982 Avalon album, which reached number one in the British charts. He composed some of his music there and was a regular visitor to some of the local pubs during his visits to Connemara.
The cause of the fire has not yet been established. A loud bang at 7 a.m. yesterday awoke the caretaker, Mr Martin Costello, who lives in a gate lodge on the grounds.
Mr Costello raised the alarm and ran to the house, which was ablaze. He broke a window in an attempt to get inside, but was forced back by the flames.
Two units of Galway Fire Brigade spent four hours damping down the building.
Mr Helmore had been twice married. He is survived by six children.