Daughter flew to Bulgaria with uncle to bring remains of adored mother home

MUM’S BODY IS FLOWN HOME AFTER HOLIDAY FALL TRAGEDY

By Kieran Hughes

T he heartbroken daughter of a popular North Belfast woman who tragically died while on holiday in Bulgaria will accompany her body as her remains are flown back to Ireland today (Thursday).

Mother of two Jacqueline McClafferty (41), orginally from the New Lodge but who was living in Dunmore off Alexandra Park Avenue, fell from the third floor of the Poseidon Hotel in the Sunny Beach resort on Saturday (June 16).

She was there on holiday with her partner of two years Sam O’Reilly.

Today (Thursday) her 18-year-old daughter Megan and brother Bernard, who have both been in Bulgaria since Monday, will bring her body home and begin preparations for her funeral, expected to be at Holy Family Church next week.

Jacqueline suffered horrific injures including a punctured lung when she fell from the third floor down two stories on to the hotel’s porch area.

Speaking to the North Belfast News, Bernard said Megan and her little brother, 10-year-old Sean, have been devastated by the loss, but they have been comforted knowing that Megan has been able to be with her mother after the death.

A sixth form student at Little Flower Girls School, Megan was the first to be told of the tragedy when police called to their house in the early hours of Sunday morning.

“It has just turned our world upside down, it’s just so hard to take in. We just wanted to get over here to Bulgaria as soon as possible and get her home,” he said.

“It’s just been so traumatic for  the whole family. Megan was adamant that she wanted to come to Bulgaria and that has helped her get some sort of closure because she has been able to see where it happened and told how it happened. Most importantly she is in the same country as her mother and flying back on the same plane as her.”

Bernard said they have been told by local police and eye witness that Jacquleine’s death was a tragic accident.

“She just fell from the balcony, we don’t know whether she lost her balance or what, but it’s just so sad.”

The devoted brother also hit out at some newspaper reports that suggested Jaqueline and Sam were drunk.

“If people are going to run stories I would prefer if they came to the family. There have been a lot of rumours and they just aren’t helpful.”

Jacquline, who worked for Carleton Financial Planning in South Belfast, was very well known in the north of the city and comes from a popular and respected family. Her father Barney owns Barney’s Barbers on the Antrim Road facing the bottom the the Cliftonville.

“It has been difficult enough for the family but it has been made even more difficult because we are 5,000 miles away,” said Bernard.

“The help we have received from the British Embassy here has been first class, they have helped us with lifts, organising flights, insurance, with the language barrier, everything. It has made things easier for us. Jacqueline has a huge circle of family and friends back home and they are all devastated.

“She was a wonferful person, she was generous and kind and always considered everyone else before herself. She was outgoing and just loved it out in Bulgaria.”

He explained how the last ever photograph of Jacqueline was taken with Manchester United and Bulgaira football star Dimitar Berbatov.

“On Friday night she met Dimitar Berbatov outside a kebab shop and she got him to sign a Bulgaria top for her son. That was the last photo taken on her holiday,” he said.

Jacqueline McClafferty is survived by her parents Barney and Margaret, her brothers Stephen and Bernard, children Megan and Sean and her partner Sam.

been told by local police and eye witness that Jacquleine’s death was a tragic accident.

“She just fell from the balcony, we don’t know whether she lost her balance or what, but it’s just so sad.”

The devoted brother also hit out at some newspaper reports that suggested Jacqueline and Sam were drunk.

“If people are going to run stories I would prefer if they came to the family. There have been a lot of rumours and they just aren’t helpful.”

Jacquline, who worked for Carleton Financial Planning in South Belfast, was very well known in the north of the city and comes from a popular and respected family. Her father Barney owns Barney’s Barbers on the Antrim Road facing the bottom of the Cliftonville.

“It has been difficult enough for the family but it has been made even more difficult because we are 5,000 miles away,” said Bernard.

“The help we have received from the British Embassy here has been first class, they have helped us with lifts, organising flights, insurance, with the language barrier, everything. It has made things easier for us. Jacqueline has a huge circle of family and friends back home and they are all devastated. She was a wonderful person, generous and kind and always considered everyone else before herself. She was outgoing and just loved it out in Bulgaria.” He explained how the last ever photograph of Jacqueline was taken with Manchester United and Bulgaria football star Dimitar Berbatov.

“On Friday night she met Dimitar Berbatov outside a kebab shop and she got him to sign a Bulgaria top for her son. That was the last photo taken on her holiday,” he said.

Jacqueline is survived by her parents Barney and Margaret, brothers Stephen and Bernard, children Megan and Sean and her partner Sam.

 

 

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