Removal to take place of Limerick woman who drowned

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

THE removal takes place this evening of the Limerick woman who drowned near the coastal town of Lahinch on Monday afternoon.

THE removal takes place this evening of the Limerick woman who drowned near the coastal town of Lahinch on Monday afternoon.

Julie Bourke, 35, who was from Kileely died after she was swept away by strong currents at around 3 o’clock on Monday afternoon.

Her distraught finance Noel Gallagher, who was also in Lahinch, says he can’t believe what happened. “She was a good swimmer; she taught my son two years ago down in Ballybunion how to swim and it was just the current that caught her and she just couldn’t get out,” he said.

Noel described how Julie’s uncle, Derek Bourke, who was also in the water at the time tried desperately to save his niece.

“He had a hold of her three times, he got her up twice and the third time he had a hold of her by the hair and he was trying to swim with his other hand but he just couldn’t make it,” he told the Limerick Leader.

Ms Bourke was rescued by crew members from the naval vessel the LE Aishling which was in the area at the time and she was airlifted to University Hospital Galway where she was pronounced dead on Monday evening.

Reliving Monday’s tragedy, Noel said he feared the worst when Julie was taken from the water and he said the whole ordeal has been hard to comprehend. “It is like a bad dream and I just keep asking everyone to pinch me and wake me up and that we would wake up in our bed together and say that was terrible,”

Revealing that Ms Bourke proposed to him in 2008 (a leap year) he said his fiancee was full of life.

“She was a great stepmother to my children Amy (11) and Daniel (7) and she was bubbly. She was so full of life and if she could do anything for you; she would and she would bend over backwards,” he said.

Julie Bourke’s removal will take place from Cross’s funeral home at 8pm tonight and her funeral will take place at St Munchin’s Church, at 11 o’clock tomorrow morning.