Tributes to Limerick woman who died in holiday tragedy

Colm Ward


Colm Ward

Tributes: The late Stephanie Hartnett, who died in an accident while on holiday in Vietnam at the weekend
Tributes were being paid this week to Stephanie Hartnett, the Adare woman who lost her life while on holiday in Vietnam.

Tributes were being paid this week to Stephanie Hartnett, the Adare woman who lost her life while on holiday in Vietnam.

Ms Hartnett, 66, had been on vacation with a group of friends when the tragedy occurred.

It is understood that she was walking in the water with another woman when they discovered they were out of their depth.

Ms Hartnett attempted to swim to shore, but collapsed before reaching safety.

Onlookers attempted to resuscitate her but she was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.

The other woman who had been in the water with her was rescued by local people.

Ms Hartnett was the daughter of the late Mary and Kevin, the former station master in Adare.

She is survived by three sisters and two brothers, nephews, nieces, brothers- and sisters-in-law and a large circle of friends.

She had lived and worked in Mallow for many years where she was director of the Anchor Treatment Centre, a service for people affected by addictions.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Stephanie’s family and friends,” the centre said in a statement this week.

The launch of a fundraising run in aid of the centre, which had been due to take place on Monday night was cancelled when news of her tragic death emerged.

Ms Hartnett was a past president of the Rotary Club in Mallow where she helped organise many charity events and continued to play an active role.

In a statement issued following her death, the club said: “She was committed to all the active projects undertaken by the club at local, national and international level. She was involved in the worldwide drive to eradicate Polio, which is a major project of Rotary International.

“She was really enjoying her retirement and her sudden death came as great shock to all.

“Our deepest sympathies go to her family.”

Cork County Mayor John Paul O’Shea also paid tribute to the Adare native, describing her death as “an awful tragedy”.

“She was very active in the Anchor Centre, Rotary and was very involved in the Thomas Davis bicentenary celebrations in Mallow last year,” he said.

Ms Hartnett had a passion for travelling and had visited many parts of the world in recent years.

She had travelled to Vietnam with a group from Ireland.

It is believed that other members of the group returned home this Wednesday.

No funeral arrangements have yet been made as her family is still waiting for her body to be released by the Vietnamese authorities.

According to Minister for State Sean Sherlock, the department of Foreign Affairs is providing assistance through its consul in Hanoi.