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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 12 months.

Prof Laffan, a well known commentator on European affairs, stated she watched as her husband, businessman Michael Laffan, obtained into bother whereas swimming at Seapoint, close to Dun Laoghaire Harbour on January fifth.

Recalling how she felt one thing was mistaken, she stated her husband and one other swimmer had gone slightly additional out than others, when she noticed his head carry immediately out of the water. Mr Laffan appeared towards the spot the place she and their son Diarmuid had 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 skilled lifeguard, kicked off his sneakers and went to help.

Prof Laffan stated there have been additionally two docs and a nurse close by and Diarmuid additionally rushed instantly to his father’s help. However, regardless of the speedy response, which included CPR, Mr Laffan didn’t recuperate and was taken by ambulance to St Vincent’s Hospital the place he was declared lifeless.

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

She stated 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 instructed the Brendan O’Connor present on RTÉ Radio One.

She stated she and her husband had been planning for his or her retirement and had been wanting ahead to their remaining years collectively.

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

Mr Laffan was a well 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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