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Friday 21 July 2017

Tributes paid to young athlete and law student who died suddenly

Joanna Duignan Photo: SportsFile
Joanna Duignan Photo: SportsFile
Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

A community has been left devastated after a young rising athlete died suddenly at the weekend.

Tributes have been paid to Joanna Duignan (20s) from Gortinee, Aughamore, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim, who was a law student at Dublin City University (DCU).

In July 2013 Ms Duignan was national under-18 400m champion and in August 2013 she was part of Irish under-18 girls' 4x400m team which won silver medals at the Celtic Games in Wales.

The Carrick-on-Shannon Athletic Club paid tribute to Ms Duignan saying there are "no words to convey their loss".

"It is with a sense of profound sadness and deep shock that we let the Carrick-on-Shannon Athletic Club family know of the sudden and untimely passing of our friend Joanna Duignan.

"There are simply no words to convey the sense of loss that our athletes, our coaches and their families are feeling right now as the news that Joanna is no longer with us sinks in ever so slowly and ever so terribly."

The club described Ms Duignan as a "a fantastic athlete with a willingness to work hard".

"What marked Joanna out most of all was not her athletics achievements but the fact that she was a lovely genuine person who always had time for everyone - no matter how young or how old, Joanna's friendly, outgoing nature saw her make time for everyone and we lost count of the amount of times she helped out our younger athletes.

"The loss we feel today is nothing compared to the loss of her family, her parents Philip and Theresa and brothers Daniel, Aaron and Keith, her relatives and extended family and many friends. There are no words to convey our deepest sympathy to them at this time - all we can do is offer our support and our love as we remember our friend Joanna."

As a mark of respect to Ms Duignan, all training at the club is cancelled this week.

Funeral Mass on Thursday at 11am in St. Mary’s Church, Annaduff followed by burial in the adjoining cemetery.

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