herald

Thursday 8 December 2016

Mum and son die in crash ten years after dad killed in tragedy

The scene of the crash where a mother and her son died Photo: Hany Marzouk
The scene of the crash where a mother and her son died Photo: Hany Marzouk

The death of a young mother and her son in a car crash is the third tragedy to hit the family.

Tributes have been paid to Tina Kelly, who was in her 30s, and her only child, 14-year-old Joey, who died after their car hit a tree at Ballaghlea, Ballygar, Co Galway at 9.45pm on Sunday.

Locals said Joey's dad, Joey Cahill, also died tragically in a car crash in 2006, when his son was just a child.

Ms Kelly and her son are survived by her parents Tom and Margaret, brothers David and Pat and sister Sabrina. The family were well-known and respected locally, particularly in horse-racing circles. Tom and his son David are both involved in training horses.

Joey's dad was also involved with horses and was a well-known point-to-point jockey before his tragic death.

Tina Kelly
Tina Kelly

Devoted

The mum and son were a much-loved part of the local community and were devoted to each other, locals said.

It is the family's third bereavement in recent years. Tina's sister Carol died in 2014.

Schoolmates of Joey, who loved animals and hurling, gathered to remember their friend yesterday.

Joey had just finished his first year at Colaiste Mhuire in Ballygar where his mum had also spent the past year as a pupil completing her PLC course in health care.

Counsellors were at the school yesterday to help the many students who gathered with their parents to remember the mother and son.

Joey Kelly
Joey Kelly

A statement from the school read: "We are deeply saddened by these events. Our sympathy and thoughts are with Joey and Tina's family and friends. Joey had just completed first year and was looking forward to second year. Tina was a past pupil and she completed a PLC course with us last year. They will both be greatly missed by all who knew them."

Principal Emma O'Malley remembered Joey as a student who "always had a smile on his face".

This was echoed by parish priest Fr Michael Breslin.

"My abiding memory of Joey is his constant smile. I never saw him without it. Tina and Joey were very close, as were the entire family," he said.

"It's a numbing time for Tina's parents and her brothers and sister. However, this is a very close-knit small community and people will rally around, not just now but in the time ahead."

Friends and relatives comforted the family at their home yesterday as locals gathered to pay their respects.

A memorial run in Carol 's honour that was scheduled for next week has now been cancelled as a mark of respect.

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