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Tuesday 25 June 2019

'She did so much for others' - woman (75) dies after bike crash

The Ballinteer Avenue stop
The Ballinteer Avenue stop

An elderly woman who died after she was struck by a motorcycle last week had dedicated her life to helping people with Asperger's Syndrome.

Tressa McKernan (75), from Kilmacud, Co Dublin, had just stepped off a bus and was attempting to cross the road on Ballinteer Avenue last Monday when the collision occurred.

It's understood she was on her way to spend time with her son who has Asperger's. She was pronounced dead this weekend at Beaumont Hospital.

The motorcyclist, a man in his 30s, was taken to St Vincent's Hospital where he was treated for minor injuries.

Neighbours of Ms McKernan have credited her as being one of the first people in Ireland to raise awareness of Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism.

In the mid-90s, Ms McKernan and her husband Des were founding members of 'Aspire', a charity that supports people with the condition.

"She has done so much for hundreds of families throughout the country," said Ms McKernan's neighbour.

"Before her and Des started Aspire, very few people knew what Asperger's syndrome was. Their son Colm inspired them to dedicate their lives helping people with the condition.

"It's so heartbreaking to hear what happened, but Tressa left behind a wonderful legacy," she said, while another neighbour described the 75-year-old as a 'warm and loving' individual.

"Her husband died a few years ago, which hit her hard, but nevertheless she always had time to say hello and have a chat," they said.

"She was so devoted to her son and was always visiting him throughout the week.

"He couldn't have had a better mum.

"I feel so sorry for him, but I'm sure he'll get the support he needs during this very sad time."

Gardai are continuing to investigate the incident.

A garda spokeswoman said: "Gardai in Dundrum are investigating a serious road traffic collision that occurred on Ballinteer Avenue, on April 8, 2019, at approximately 7.50pm.

"Anyone with information is asked to contact Dundrum Garda Station on 01-6665600 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111."

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