Monday 27 February 2017

Woman run over in freak accident while gardening

Patsy McArdle and Anne-Marie Walsh

A grandmother who was gardening was tragically killed when her grandson accidentally reversed a car over her.

Bridie O'Reilly, who was in her mid-60s, told a local politician she was looking forward to a day in the sun when he met her in Clones in Monaghan just hours before her death.

Like other residents of the town, Sinn Fein councillor Pat Treanor is in shock following the freak accident at Ms O'Reilly's home at Tiernahinch on the Roslea Road on Thursday.

The grandmother and mother of four, who was a member of the Irish Countrywomen's Association, is believed to have been putting out flowerpots when the tragic incident took place.

She was rushed to Cavan General Hospital, where medics were also desperately trying to resuscitate a paramedic who died after he fell from a moving ambulance.

Ms O'Reilly, who previously worker as a priest's housekeeper and was also involved in the local girl guides, was described as a "very decent and lovely woman".

Her husband Jimmy, who worked as a saleman, is believed to be retired and two of her sons, Stephen and Richard, who are living in the US, are making arrangements to return home.

"I knew Bridie very well," said Mr Treanor.

"She was a lovely woman. Any time you would meet her she had a smile and a joke about something locally," he said.

Tragedy

"She was telling me at lunchtime on Thursday that she was enjoying the good weather, at the local Gala supermarket, because it was giving her time to get the garden done," he said.

"The whole town is stunned. It is a real tragedy. The worst you could imagine."

Parish priest Larry Duffy said the family was devastated following Ms O'Reilly's death.

"It is an awful tragedy," he said. "She was a parishioner. It is the sort of thing you hope doesn't happen in your wildest dreams."

It is understood that Ms O'Reilly's grandson was learning to drive at the time the incident took place.

Her daughter Samantha who is a nurse, and lives next door, tried to revive her mother as emergency services rushed to the house.

It is understood that she became trapped between the car in the driveway and a wall and was rushed to hospital but died from her injuries.

A neighbour said yesterday: "This tragedy has shocked the entire community. Bridie was a lovely person and the circumstances of her death has stunned the town.

"The whole family is traumatised over what happened and they have our sympathy."

Mayor of the town, Ross Mealiff, said locals were struggling to come to terms with the tragic loss.

"The town council sympathises with the O'Reilly family at this difficult time," he said.

"To have a mother and daughter living next door shows how close they were."

Gardai in Clones are investigating the incident.

Irish Independent

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