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Friday 24 May 2019

'Fly high, angel' - grieving community mourns 'kind girl' (11) lost in cycling tragedy

A garda at the scene of the accident near Ballinasloe, Co Galway Inset: Bridget Ward
A garda at the scene of the accident near Ballinasloe, Co Galway Inset: Bridget Ward
Bridget Ward
Overturned: A garda at the scene of the accident near Ballinasloe, Co Galway, where a car ended up on its side and one child died. Photos: Arthur Carron
Laura Lynott

Laura Lynott

Bridget Ward (11) who tragically died on Easter Sunday while cycling with her little brother Patrick, has been described as “an angel”.

Bridget was riding her bike near Ballinasloe, Co Galway, when a car was involved in a collision.

Bridget Ward
Bridget Ward

Tributes online said: “RIP Bridget... My heart is breaking for your family. Look over your mommy, daddy and brothers and sisters at this sad time.

“RIP Bridget, fly high angel.”

Loved ones of the children wrote touching sentiments online and one posted a photograph of Bridget.

“RIP, so heartbreaking,” one post read.

Others wrote:  “So sorry for their loss, RIP little princess.

“It’s heartbreaking, a beautiful little girl, may God give them (the family) the strength to cope with their loss.”

Eglish Primary School in Ahascragh, Ballinasloe, where Bridget was a pupil, posted a tribute online stating: “Our school community is deeply saddened by the news of the tragic death of our student, classmate and friend, Bridget.

“A kind, talented and wonderful girl in so many ways, she will always hold a special place in our hearts.

Overturned: A garda at the scene of the accident near Ballinasloe, Co Galway, where a car ended up on its side and one child died. Photos: Arthur Carron
Overturned: A garda at the scene of the accident near Ballinasloe, Co Galway, where a car ended up on its side and one child died. Photos: Arthur Carron

“May her gentle soul Rest in Peace. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family on this sad day and we pray for a full and speedy recovery for her brother, Paddy.”

Caltra Community Centre in Ballinasloe posted on Facebook: “Sincere sympathy to the family and friends of little Bridget and Paddy Ward.

“May her gentle little soul rest in peace. Our prayers and thoughts are with Paddy wishing him a speedy recovery and the occupants of the car. Such a tragic event on a beautiful Easter Sunday. Thinking and praying for you all.”

The siblings were cycling close to the halting site where they were living, when the incident took place. Bridget was taken to Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe where she was pronounced dead a short time later.

Patrick was said to be in a serious condition on Sunday but today it was understood the child was doing well in hospital with his family by his bedside.

Local Fine Gael councillor Michael Finnerty said: “One small ray of light today is that little Patrick is recovering well in hospital, maybe a small bit of light can come out of this tragedy today.”

Cllr Finnerty thanked the emergency services for rushing to the scene on Easter Sunday. 

“This was Easter Sunday morning and everyone was going about their business and as soon as the first responders got the call, their response was wonderful.

“The guards, civil defence, paramedics and fire service, were all there on the scene within minutes.

“It’s little comfort to the family, I’m sure but we are grateful as a community for such rapid response to this tragedy and that the little boy is doing well in hospital.

“We are all thinking of the family today.”

Bishop Kevin Doran offered his condolences to the community of Creggane Estate.

“Two of our young parishioners, Bridget and Paddy, were involved in a tragic road accident on Easter Sunday.  I join with the parish community of Ahascragh and Caltra, in asking God to give his consolation and strength to the Ward family, and to guide those who are caring for Paddy in hospital," he said.

Flowers were laid at the road and gardai were stopping drivers at a checkpoint, searching for witnesses to the collision at around 11.55am on Easter Sunday.

No arrests have been made but gardai are continuing enquiries.

Anyone with information can contact Ballinasloe Garda Station on:  0909 631 890.

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