Locals sign book of condolence after death of Co Wexford couple in Italy

Locals sign book of condolence after death of Co Wexford couple in Italy
St Peter’s Square in Rome, © PA Archive/PA Images

Locals have been signing a book of condolence in a Co Wexford church in memory of a couple who died while on holiday in Italy.

Paul and Mary Reilly, who are from Kilmore and aged in their late 50s/early 60s, were on holiday in Rome when they died in a road crash on Thursday.

The incident reportedly took place at an intersection on the Via Cristoforo Colombo on the outskirts of the Italian capital.

Father Patrick Mernagh told the PA news agency that a book of condolences has been available to sign in St Mary’s Church since 1pm so that the community can “reflect on the lives of two beautiful people”.




The parish priest said there has been a “constant stream of people coming all day” to pay tribute to the couple who were “well connected in the community”.

The local community centre where Mrs Reilly worked, the Stella Maris Centre, closed on Friday out of respect but is to open on Saturday and Sunday from 10am until 2pm for tea and coffee as a place for locals to gather to remember the couple.

A book of condolence will also be available to sign there.

“Mary was part of the family down there,” Fr Mernagh said.


Local councillor Jim Moore, who is a cousin of Mary Reilly, said the community was in a state of “stunned silence”.

“I suppose the words ‘stunned’ and shocked’ don’t adequately cover the feelings that have developed since four or five o’clock yesterday evening when the family were informed of the double tragedy,” he told RTÉ Radio.

"A long journey"

“We’re on a long journey of trying to come to terms with the shock of it all.

“Paul and Mary lived here in the community and they were married for a good number of years.

“Mary… worked in the community centre, as well as being busy as a seamstress, and Paul worked in the marine industry.

“When he came from Dublin, first he was involved in the fishing industry and over a good number of years has moved into the broader maritime world and received professional qualifications in western Europe for the last many, many years and coming home regularly to the family.

“They took a week’s holidays out of their work schedule and this was the start of a holiday period for both of them.”

The Department of Foreign Affairs said it is aware of the case and is providing consular assistance.

“As with all consular cases, the department does not comment on the details of individual cases,” they added.

By Gráinne Ní Aodha and Rebecca Black, PA

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