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Cork rallies around mother of five hit by double tragedy in run-up to Christmas

By Olivia Kelleher

A mother of five young children who lost her husband to cancer last month has been dealt another devastating blow after she saw all of her belongings go up in flames following a fire at the family home in Mallow, Co Cork.

Mary Gore was unable to retrieve any of her personal belongings after a fire broke out at her home in College Wood on Tuesday. She and her five children, who are all under the age of eight, are left with just the clothes on their backs and a few photographs.

Poignantly Mary managed to retrieve army medals from the house which belonged to her late husband Chris who died last month.

A family friend contacted Cork's Red FM this morning to discuss their plight.

Carol Guerin told Red FM's Neil Prendeville Show that the Gore kids left for school on Tuesday morning with their mother Mary. Mary was subsequently contacted by someone who told her that her house was on fire.

"The kitchen is completely destroyed. The ceiling is gone. Literally everything they have in the house is obviously very damaged by smoke. They literally have the clothes on the back.

"I am not sure how it happened. We do know it's the cooker but it's fairly bad. Toys, clothes, beds and furniture. Everything they have is gone.

"All Mary was able to salvage was some important pictures and medals that they had in the house. They can't take anything else out because of smoke damage."

Mary Gore is a mother to two boys Adam and David who are aged seven and eight and triplets Sarah, Ellen and Teresa who are just five years old.

Carol says the kids have had a tough time following the loss of their dad last month and were looking forward to Christmas.

Mary and her brave kiddies visiting Santa.

"They were getting excited for Santa. Chris (their Dad) God love him had cancer and he was diagnosed just around a year ago. He died last month.

"He was just about to turn 44. His birthday was the week after he was buried."

Carol says Mary is in shock as she is still in the midst of the grieving process having lost her husband so recently.

"She is trying to keep herself together for the five kids and had just started coming out and doing her few bits and trying to get ready for Christmas and focusing on a happy time.

"Then I suppose the house going set her back. They couldn't even go back to the house. Her brother very kindly offered to put them up.

"The kids are unaware what is going on. They probably think they are on a grand sleepover."

Carol said the family went to see Santa last week so that the "kids could still be kids."

She is appealing to members of the public to help the family as they attempt to rebuild their lives.

She said: "They had put up the decorations and had tried to make it all nice for Christmas. And Mary had put some pictures of Chris around the sitting room so they could look at them and remember him.

"Everything is gone. The kids went out in their uniforms that morning and the girls had their Christmas play.

"Mallow Act of Kindness have been absolutely fantastic and now we have the Go Fund Me page. People have been amazing. Quite a bit has been raised so far."

Meanwhile, local Independent Councillor, John Paul O'Shea has urged the people of Cork to get behind the family.

He said: "I would be asking them to rally behind them from an emotional and a practical point of view.

"It is very sad. Chris only died last month and he was very young and they are a young family."

Anyone who wishes to donate to the Gore Go Fund Me Page can do so here.