Friday 23 June 2017

Husband tells gardai of horror car crash

Edel Kennedy

A GRIEVING husband who lost his wife and unborn child in a horror three-car crash has given gardai details of the moments leading up to the tragedy.

Roisin Connolly and her unborn daughter Catherine died on the N2 outside Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan, on Monday, along with Paul Carroll and Glen Curtis.

The 39-year-old woman was the front-seat passenger in a Seat Toledo being driven by her husband, Stephen Connolly, when they were involved in a head-on collision with a BMW.

Mr Connolly, an accountant and a son of former Fianna Fail junior minister Ger Connolly, suffered injuries, but it is understood gardai have interviewed him in Our Lady Of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, Co Louth, after he underwent surgery.

Mr Connolly's, mother Marie, said he "remembers everything" about the crash, which happened about 2.30pm on Monday as they drove from Roisin's native Donegal to Dublin.

"He will be okay physically but I worry about him emotionally because it is such a blow," she said, adding that he had undergone surgery to insert a metal plate into his broken arm.

Gardai also hope to interview the driver of the BMW, Kevin McArdle, along with the other surviving passenger, who remains in a critical condition.

Mrs Connolly spoke movingly of her daughter-in-law as they prepared for her removal.

Her body, and that of the couple's baby, will leave from Ballybay funeral home in Co Monaghan this afternoon for the funeral Mass tomorrow in her native Fanad, Co Donegal.

"Roisin was such a lovely girl; we still can't believe what happened. It was such a perfect year for them. They were only married in April, and they were expecting their perfect baby next April," she said.

Yesterday, scores of Roisin's friends paid tribute to the bubbly teacher, who worked at the Educate Together school in Balbriggan, Co Dublin.

"You were a beautiful person who lit up the lives of those who were blessed to have known you," said one.

"The world is a darker place now you have been taken away from us. There are two more stars in the sky now. It's hard to believe that life can be so cruel -- it certainly will never be the same again."

Fintan McCutcheon, principal of the school, said her colleagues of four years "can't believe" what has happened.

Devastated

"She was much loved and respected and the whole school community is devastated.

"She was very popular, a great professional as well as a great person," Mr McCutcheon said.

The couple were due to celebrate their first wedding anniversary in April, along with the birth of their daughter.

A medical team battled to save the lives of mother and daughter but their baby died within minutes of her mother. She has been named Catherine.

They had been returning to their home on Grace Park Manor in Drumcondra, Dublin, after spending Christmas with Roisin's mother, Kathleen, in Fanad.

Roisin had grown up in Donegal and had even represented Manchester in the Mary from Dungloe festival in 1989.

Removals will also take place today for Paul Carroll (27), from Kingscourt in Co Cavan and his friend Glen Curtis (27) from Nobber in Co Meath.

Gardai are appealing for any witnesses to the incident to come forward.

Irish Independent

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