Donegal woman who lost family in crash urges people to "cherish life"
"I can't turn back the clock."
A Donegal woman who lost her family in a car accident has urged people to "cherish life" this Christmas.
Geraldine Mullan lost her husband and two children over the summer when the car they were travelling in left the road and entered Lough Foyle. Geraldine was the only survivor of the crash.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Prime Time, Geraldine told Miriam O’Callaghan that she wants people to remember "how precious life is."
"I can't turn back the clock," she said. "I wish it could be the 19th of August and things were different, but I can't change what happened on the 20th of August.
“My Christmas present to John, Tomás and Amelia is that more kids get hugs and kisses from their mums and dads. If more people tell their loved ones that they love each other, because I didn't know the 20th of August was going to be the last day I got to tell John, Tomás and Amelia I loved them.
“So my message is just simple. Just remember how precious life is, cherish every moment and tell the ones you love, you love them."
Geraldine wanted to share her story to remind others to cherish life, but also to say thank you to those who rescued her in August. Coastguard's Kevin Barr stayed with Geraldine in the lough as she came to terms with her loss.
“I had lost all hope at that time," she said. "I knew my family were gone and I just wanted to be with them.
“I asked him on a couple of occasions to let me go. And Kevin was so brave. He held onto me and he kept apologising because he knew they were gone too. And he just said, I am so sorry, Geraldine, I can't let you go.
“I am here today because of Kevin and the work of all those people that worked so hard that night to get me out of the water."
Geraldine said that although her family are not with her physically, she takes comfort knowing they are still in her heart.
“I take one day at a time, sometimes it's an hour at a time," she said, "but I will never lose hope. John, Tomás and Amelia may not physically be with me anymore, but they're definitely with me in spirit, they're in my heart."
You can watch Geraldine's full interview on RTÉ's Prime Time on the RTÉ Player.