Belfast Telegraph

Boston Marathon bombings: Irish cousins reeling over family's tragic loss

BOSTON - APRIL 17: Signs, flowers and candles make up a makeshift memorial at the corner of Berkeley and Boylston Street for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing April 17, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Boston continues to get back to normal, as businesses and streets are reopened following a two bomb explosion at the finish line of the marathon that killed 3 people and injured hundreds more. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
BOSTON - APRIL 17: Signs, flowers and candles make up a makeshift memorial at the corner of Berkeley and Boylston Street for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing April 17, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Boston continues to get back to normal, as businesses and streets are reopened following a two bomb explosion at the finish line of the marathon that killed 3 people and injured hundreds more. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 16: People gather with candles during a vigil for eight-year-old Martin Richard, from Dorchester, who was killed by an explosion near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 16, 2013 at Garvey Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The twin bombings resulted in the deaths of three people and hospitalized at least 128. The bombings at the 116-year-old Boston race resulted in heightened security across the nation with cancellations of many professional sporting events as authorities search for a motive to the violence. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 16: Young children stand with lit candles during a vigil for eight-year-old Martin Richard, from Dorchester, who was killed by an explosion near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 16, 2013 at Garvey Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The twin bombings resulted in the deaths of three people and hospitalized at least 128. The bombings at the 116-year-old Boston race resulted in heightened security across the nation with cancellations of many professional sporting events as authorities search for a motive to the violence. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 16: A man with an American flag on his hat attends a vigil for eight-year-old Martin Richard, from Dorchester, who was killed by an explosion near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 16, 2013 at Garvey Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The twin bombings resulted in the deaths of three people and hospitalized at least 128. The bombings at the 116-year-old Boston race resulted in heightened security across the nation with cancellations of many professional sporting events as authorities search for a motive to the violence. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 16: A woman cries while listening during the vigil for eight-year-old Martin Richard, from Dorchester, who was killed by an explosion near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 16, 2013 at Garvey Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The twin bombings resulted in the deaths of three people and hospitalized at least 128. The bombings at the 116-year-old Boston race resulted in heightened security across the nation with cancellations of many professional sporting events as authorities search for a motive to the violence. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 16: A young girl cries with her mother during the vigil for eight-year-old Martin Richard, from Dorchester, who was killed by an explosion near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 16, 2013 at Garvey Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The twin bombings resulted in the deaths of three people and hospitalized at least 128. The bombings at the 116-year-old Boston race resulted in heightened security across the nation with cancellations of many professional sporting events as authorities search for a motive to the violence. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Mourners attend candlelight vigil for Martin Richard at Garvey Park, near Richard's home in the Dorchester section of Boston, on Tuesday, April 16, 2013. Martin is the 8-year-old boy killed in the Boston Marathon bombing. (AP Photo/The New York Times, Josh Haner) MANDATORY CREDIT; NYC OUT; MAGS OUT; NO SALES; TV OUT, NO ARCHIVE
Signs, flowers and candles make up a makeshift memorial at the corner of Berkeley and Boylston Street for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing
The explosions killed three people and injured more than 140 (AP/The Boston Globe, David L Ryan)
One of the blast sites is examined on Boylston Street near the finish line (AP)
Eight-year-old Martin Richard was among those killed in the Boston Marathon explosions (AP)
The remains of a pressure cooker that the FBI says was part of one of the bombs that exploded during the Boston Marathon. (AP/FBI)
Krystle Campbell, 29, was killed in the blasts while watching her boyfriend in the marathon (AP)
The explosions killed three people and injured more than 140 (AP/The Boston Globe, David L Ryan)

The Irish cousins of a young American woman whose eight-year-old son was killed in the Boston Marathon atrocity have spoken of their horror at the terrorist attack.

Denise Richard is recovering from major eye surgery after her son Martin was killed in the blast and her daughter, Jane (5), who is a talented Irish dancer and won several awards, lost a leg.

Mrs Richard, nee O'Brien, is a proud Irish-American with her grandmother Helen hailing from outside Mitchelstown in Cork.

The young Boston woman spent most of her summers holidaying in Ireland, with her Irish cousins regularly travelling to Massachusetts to visit her and her family.

Her cousin, Una Fitzgerald, said they were still reeling from the aftermath of Monday's bombing.

"We are just hoping and praying that Denise and Jane will be alright.

"But we are all heartbroken at the death of poor Martin. He was a gorgeous little boy," she said.

Una, who runs a successful florists in Mitchelstown, said Denise's Irish relatives have endured "a rollercoaster" of emotions given the enormous media coverage the atrocity has attracted.

"Some of it has been very upsetting because the facts are not correct. Denise did not suffer brain injuries. She underwent surgery on her eye and we're praying she will be alright," Una said.

"Her husband Bill did not run in the marathon. He was injured and couldn't compete but the entire family went along to watch the race and cheer on some friends.

"He wasn't hurt badly and will be alright."

Una said Denise's Irish cousins have been in daily contact with her family in Boston.

"It has been really hard watching the coverage on the TV and the photos in the newspapers knowing that one of your relatives was caught up in it."

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