herald

Friday 28 July 2017

'Mona made a world of difference', says husband of teacher killed in crash

Tragic Mona was knocked down and killed while out walking
Tragic Mona was knocked down and killed while out walking

The husband of a teacher who died when she was struck by a car while out walking has paid tribute to the mum who made a difference to so many lives.

Dr Michael Clarke was with his wife Mona (53) near Castleblayney on January 7 when she was knocked down and killed.

Dr Clarke was also injured in the tragic incident and is still recovering from his injuries.

The Castleblayney GP spoke out following the RTE documentary After the Crash, which showed the harrowing suffering of the families of some of the 188 people killed on Irish roads last year.

Dr Clarke told the Herald he hoped the programme might help stop further carnage on the roads. "The stark depiction of the devastation wrought on families by sudden tragic loss will we hope assist in the ongoing campaign for safer roads," he said.

"We hope that it will help prevent further tragedy and carnage."

Passionate

"The programme has done a great service. We were very sad watching it but it was very well done."

Mrs Clarke was assistant principal at Beech Hill College in Co Monaghan.

"She was a passionate educator and had a core belief in lifelong learning and in one's pursuit of dreams," said Dr Clarke.

Mrs Clarke became a guidance counsellor at the school and she hoped to continue working as a pro-bono counsellor outside of her school hours, he said.

Her death deeply affected a great number of people because of "the kindness, compassion and time she gave to every person who crossed her path", Dr Clarke added.

He spoke of her "unending positivity" and how she did everything "with empathy, insight and sincerity and always with a touch of humour".

He said his wife was a loving mother to Andrew (27) and Evie (23) and she led an active and full life.

Perfect

"Mona's life comprised the perfect work-life balance. She was a voracious reader and card and backgammon player," he added.

"She travelled widely, loved running, walking and swimming and impressively made entertaining large crowds look easy. Mona made a difference in life to a huge number of people."

He said her lifelong motto was "keep your feet on the ground and reach for the stars".

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