Special Olympics honour for dune-buggy victim
SPECIAL Olympics members will provide a guard of honour at the funeral of a young woman who lost her life in a dune-buggy accident last weekend.
Edel Doyle (25) died after being flung from the buggy in which she was a passenger on a Co Mayo beach on Sunday afternoon.
Yesterday, her coach described Ms Doyle as "one of the leading lights" of the Irish ladies' football team that won a bronze medal at the 2007 Special Olympics in Shanghai.
"She achieved so much in a short life," Gerald Murray told the Irish Independent.
"Going to China was incredible for us all but for Edel it helped her develop her personal outgoing skills, it helped her take the next step in life. She used it as a positive experience in sport and for herself.
"Edel would have been one of the leading lights of the Irish team in Shanghai. She scored all the goals for the team.
"She had an engaging personality. She had made a lot of friends and she was doing well in life."
Ms Doyle, who was originally from Crossmolina, but had been living in Killala, died in Mayo General Hospital, Castlebar, on Sunday night.
The driver of the buggy, James McNulty (29), was taken to hospital with fractures to his hip, ribs and jaw.
He was yesterday described as being "out of danger".
It is understood the accident was witnessed by Ms Doyle's boyfriend, Sean Golden, who raised the alarm and ran to the aid of the stricken pair, who were both thrown from the buggy when it overturned.
One local man, who did not wish to be named, said Lacken Strand, where the accident occurred, was popular with off-road enthusiasts.
"People were trying to get the gardai to close it before this; there were two or three more (accidents) during last summer," the man said.
A Mayo County Council by-law prohibits the use of any "mechanically propelled vehicle" on Lackan Strand.
However, a council member said privately yesterday that there had been problems enforcing the by-law because of the remote location.
Ms Doyle will be buried tomorrow after 2pm Mass at St Muredach's Cathedral in Ballina.