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Brigid Laffan recalls ‘unimaginable’ trauma of husband’s death


Political scientist Prof Brigid Laffan has spoken of the “unimaginable” trauma visited on her household when her husband died whereas swimming in south Dublin earlier this yr.

Prof Laffan, a widely known commentator on European affairs, mentioned she watched as her husband, businessman Michael Laffan, bought into hassle whereas swimming at Seapoint, close to Dun Laoghaire Harbour on January fifth.

Recalling how she felt one thing was mistaken, she mentioned her husband and one other swimmer had gone a little bit additional out than others, when she noticed his head carry abruptly out of the water. Mr Laffan appeared towards the spot the place she and their son Diarmuid have been standing on a walkway, earlier than turning to swim in the direction of the shore.

She instantly referred to as out to his fellow swimmers that “Michael is in trouble” whereas a close-by man, who occurred to be a educated lifeguard, kicked off his sneakers and went to help.

Prof Laffan mentioned there have been additionally two docs and a nurse close by and Diarmuid additionally rushed instantly to his father’s support. However, regardless of the fast response, which included CPR, Mr Laffan didn’t get better and was taken by ambulance to St Vincent’s Hospital the place he was declared useless.

While submit mortem outcomes are but to be made obtainable, Ms Laffan mentioned her husband didn’t drown, however died from some type of “catastrophic heart episode”.

She mentioned it was some consolation that he “wasn’t on his own. His son carried him out”.

Michael Laffan was involved in cooker and stove manufacturer Waterford Stanley, which he and a colleague took over in a management buyout in 2000. Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times
Michael Laffan was concerned in cooker and range producer Waterford Stanley, which he and a colleague took over in a administration buyout in 2000. Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

“If he could have been saved he would have been,” she informed the Brendan O’Connor present on RTÉ Radio One.

She mentioned she and her husband had been planning for his or her retirement and have been trying ahead to their remaining years collectively.

“It is a real trauma to see someone die before your eyes,” she added.

Mr Laffan was a widely known businessman remembered for his involvement in cooker and range producer Waterford Stanley, which he and a colleague took over in a administration buyout in 2000.

Prof Laffan, a former professor of politics at UCD, is now emeritus professor on the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies on the European University Institute, in Florence, Italy.



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