Sunday 20 January 2019

Tragic Josie 'a real treasure who tirelessly raised funds for charity'

IWA service co-ordinator Valene McMullen
IWA service co-ordinator Valene McMullen

One of the women knocked down and killed in a tragic accident in Co Louth has been credited with being one of the founders of the Irish Wheelchair Association in her town.

Josie Duff (79) was crossing the N2 at the Hunterstown Inn with her cousin Kathy McDonald (70) when they were struck by a car on Monday evening.

They have both been remembered as well-known and well-respected members of their community.


Josie Duff, who lived on the Kells Road in Ardee, volunteered for local charities and organisations.

At the Irish Wheelchair Association centre in the town news was only breaking yesterday morning of the tragedy.

"Josie was a real treasure. If it wasn't for her we wouldn't have this centre," said IWA service co-ordinator Valene McMullen.

"She was invaluable to the organisation, especially for her fundraising. She was so important to us that we named a room here after her."

In the main reception area a set of doors lead to a large recreation room with Josie's name above the door.

"Neither Josie nor her family needed the use of a wheelchair, but she campaigned for years for us. She was just that sort of a person. She had a kind-hearted nature," Valene explained.

Josie also carried out voluntary work for the local Ardee Hospice.

Its acting chairperson, Breda Lynch, said she had been a fundraising member for years.

"Josie worked tirelessly in her fundraising. She would always be there to help in any way she could.

"We are very saddened by her death, and her family are in all our thoughts and prayers," she said.

Former parish priest of Ardee, Fr Michael Murtagh, praised both Josie and Kathy McDonald.

"Josie was, with her husband John, always happy and smiling, always elegant, positive and charitable.

"Kathy was a senior nurse manager in Moorehall Lodge nursing home for many years.

"She was reserved in manner, extremely professional and caring and her leadership qualities were obviously highly regarded," he said.

"She was predeceased by her husband about a year ago. As a visitor to Moore Hall Lodge over many years I came to appreciate her utter dedication and her integrity of character," he added.

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