herald

Thursday 20 September 2018

Tributes to 'beautiful girls and great friends' killed in freak accident on walk

Maureen Dooley
Maureen Dooley

Two women killed in a horrific crash on Thursday were friends out together for their daily walk.

Secondary school maths teacher Maureen Dooley (55) and her close pal Deirdre Kilmartin (54) were walking in Ballinasloe when they were struck by a vehicle in a freak accident.

They were struck by the car, which had collided with another car, on Station Road on Thursday evening at around 5.40pm and pronounced dead at the scene.

Numb

When word broke that night of an accident, the community of 7,000 people began to fear the worst.

Locals said they were left numb by the tragedy.

The loop which the two were travelling is a popular 5km route to take for walkers in the town.

The road was sealed off by garda forensics until 4pm yesterday, with post-mortems on the women taking place.

Locals told the Herald that "a wave and a smile was the usual greeting" from the popular duo - who were both married with children. Ms Kilmartin had two children and Ms Dooley had three.

Ms Dooley's husband, Aidan, played for Roscommon in the 1980 All-Ireland Final.

Ms Kilmartin, meanwhile, worked at the local vet in the centre of the town.

Deirdre Kilmartin
Deirdre Kilmartin

It closed for the day, not just as a mark of respect, but because her colleagues were too heartbroken to work.

A note, in a black ribbon on the front door, read: "Due to our inexpressible grief at the death of our wonderful colleague and friend, Deirdre, the shop will remain closed."

Some flowers at the scene were left with a simple message: "Rest in peace ladies."

Sean Tully - a neighbour of the two over the years - said they even went to national school together.

"They were two beautiful girls and just great friends. As people they were outstanding. They were very warm, friendly, outgoing girls," he said.

Fighting

Meanwhile, in a separate incident, a woman is fighting for her life after being struck by a cyclist in Dublin.

The pedestrian, in her 40s, was hit when attempting to cross the road at about 9am at Grand Parade, Ranelagh.

She was initially taken to St Vincent's University Hospital in Elm Park and later transferred to Beaumont Hospital.

A garda spokesman has described her condition as critical.

Gardai are appealing for witnesses to contact Donnybrook Garda Station on 01 666 9200, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any garda station.

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