BRIAN O’Callaghan-Westropp, who was originally from the Shannon/Newmarket area, has died as a result of the wildfires in Greece this week.
Brian and his new wife Zoe Holohan had travelled to Greece following their wedding on July 19. At the time of writing Zoe is receiving treatment in hospital for burns.
On Wednesday the death toll from the fires already exceeded 80 and was expected to rise further.
In a statement the Holohan and O’Callaghan-Westropp families said they “would respectfully appreciate privacy at this time as we grieve and as Zoe makes her recovery.”
Brian worked for a Dublin company called Ready Chef Ltd while he was secretary of Blood Bikes East, a charity that provides an emergency medical transport service between the hospitals in Dublin and the Greater Leinster area.
Franco De Bonis of Blood Bikes East described Brian as “a big presence, a man of action, who wasn’t afraid to get things done and help out.”
Brian became very deeply involved in the charity very quickly, he added, “He joined just over a year ago and he started off essentially as a volunteer rider. Because of his background he realised he could assist in other ways also. At the time the charities regulator had introduced new rules for charities and he really worked very hard and diligently to sort all that out for us.”
Franco said the charity had given him a way of using his passion for the good of others. “He was the kind of guy who gave very freely of his time, he very much thought of others. Like many of us in the organisation he wanted to use what he loved, which is motorbiking for other people’s benefit.”
Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.