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Friday 28 July 2017

Boy (6) 'battling bravely' as family gather for car crash mum's funeral

Emma O'Keeffe died less than 24 hours after the accident
Emma O'Keeffe died less than 24 hours after the accident

A young mum who died following a car crash will be laid to rest today while her young son remains in a serious condition in hospital.

Mother-of-three Emma O'Keeffe, of Wilkinstown, Navan, Co Meath, died on Friday after the accident on Thursday afternoon near her home between Nobber and Kingscourt.

Two of her sons, who were in the car when it was in collision with a lorry, were rushed to hospital.

One of the boys, aged six, who was seriously injured, underwent further surgery at Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin on Saturday.

"He is battling bravely and we are all praying for him at the moment. From what we are told, the next 48 hours are crucial," said a family friend.

Ms O'Keeffe (26), originally from Kilmainham, Dublin, lived in Kells and in Nobber before she and her husband, Robin, settled in Wilkinstown. Their three young children are Daniel, Adam and Logan.

Collapsed

Ms O'Keeffe's funeral will take place today at 11am in St John the Baptist Church in Kilberry, Co Meath, followed by burial in the local cemetery.

The distraught family were dealt a further blow on Saturday night when Ms O'Keeffe's mother-in-law, Eileen O'Keeffe, collapsed with a suspected heart attack in her home at Caulstown, Wilkinstown.

"Eileen, who is in her 50s, collapsed at the wake in the house," said the family friend.

"She was taken to Our Lady's Hospital in Navan where she was treated for a suspected heart attack and has been kept in for observation."

Following the crash on Thursday, shortly after 1pm, four garda units and four fire units and a helicopter attended the scene.

Ms O'Keeffe was rushed to the intensive care unit at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda after being removed from the car.

She was pronounced dead less than 24 hours later. She and Robin were married two-and-a-half years ago.

James Minnock, the principal at Scoil Naomh Barra, Wilkinstown, said on Friday that the whole school were praying for the family.

"This is a terrible tragedy for the family, our school and our community," said Mr Minnock. "We are deeply saddened by these events.

"Our sympathy, prayers and thoughts are with the family at this time."

He added that the teachers and staff in the school are focusing on the pupils who are trying to come to terms with the tragedy.

Psychologists brought in from the National Education Psychological Service were supporting and advising the school in assisting the children, said Mr Minnock.

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