Belfast Telegraph

Children of tragic Ruth Maguire told 'mummy's gone to heaven'

Ruth Maguire
Ruth Maguire
Jim and Ruth who were due to get married this year
Ruth Maguire with son Tyler (10), daughter Lydia (7) and son Oliver (5)

The sister of tragic bride-to-be Ruth Maguire has revealed how her three children were told "mummy's gone to heaven".

Belfast woman Ruth (30) went missing while on a hen night in Carlingford last month. Her body was recovered from the water at Carlingford Lough two days later.

She is believed to have accidentally lost her bearings and fell into the water after becoming separated from her 32-strong group of friends while leaving a bar.

Ruth, who was due to be married to her long-term partner in August, was later buried in her wedding dress at a service at St Vincent de Paul Church in Ligoniel, north Belfast.

Her sister Rachel Wilkinson has now spoken of the devastating effect Ruth's death has had on her children, Tyler (10), Lydia (7) and Oliver (5).

"I don't think Oliver really understands," she told Virgin Media Ireland.

"Lydia is just trying to work it out in her head how it's all going to work. 'Who's doing my hair for Irish dancing?' and she's asking for things that belonged to Ruth."

"It hasn't sunk in yet. I don't think any of us really are getting the reality of this that Ruth's gone."

Ms Wilkinson said Ruth's three children were told "mummy's gone to heaven".

Speaking following her death, Ruth's partner of 12 years James Griffin described her as his "soul mate".

"I would like to say a big thank you to Kilkeel coastguards, the emergency services, Garda and the local people from Carlingford for everything they have done to find Ruth," he said.

"Ruth will be missed more than she will ever know by myself and our three children and families.

"Ruth wasn't just my partner, she was my soul mate."

At her funeral service last month, Ruth's family were joined by hundreds of mourners and a number of bouquets of flowers were carried by members of the RNLI, while a bouquet that spelt out “Friend” was driven in the hearse.

A guard of honour made up of children and adults from Ms Maguire’s local GAA club, Bryansford GAC in Newcastle, where she volunteered as a coach, stood outside the church.

Friends described Ms Maguire as “the most loving, hardworking and caring mother to her three beautiful children” who, along with her partner, “worked tirelessly to give their children the best that they possibly could in life”.

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