Saturday 20 October 2018

'A wonderful woman, who loved and is loved' - mother killed in tragic crash laid to rest

Deirdre Kilmartin and Maureen Dooley died at the scene of the crash
Deirdre Kilmartin and Maureen Dooley died at the scene of the crash

Daragh Small

Mourners at the funeral of one of two women killed in a road accident in Ballinasloe on Thursday were today told that the east Co Galway town is still in shock over the double tragedy.

Deirdre Kilmartin, who is survived by her husband Kieran and her children Emma and James, was laid to rest at Creagh Cemetery in Ballinasloe following her funeral mass at St Michael’s Church in the town.

Her good friend, Maureen Dooley, will also be laid to rest in the same cemetery following her funeral mass at St Michael’s Church tomorrow.

The two women, who were in their 50’s, died when a car involved in a two-car accident collided with them while they were out walking on Station Road in Ballinasloe around tea-time on Thursday evening.

Hundreds of mourners were told by Fr Bernie Costello, Hospital Chaplain at Portiuncla and St Brigid’s, that the town and locality was still in a state of shock following the deaths of the popular women.

Fr Costello, who was joined by Bishop of Clonfert John Kirby and twelve priests, said it was hard to come to terms with the tragedy.

“Where do we start to make sense of what happened here in Ballinasloe last Thursday evening?

“When two women, two very, very good friends went out for a walk as they always did. And neither of them was to come home.

Deirdre Kilmartin
Deirdre Kilmartin

“Our first reaction is one of disbelief, this can’t be happening. That’s the moment your lives have been turned upside down.”

“It has been a terrible few days here in this parish and this community. We are really in a state of shock, of sadness and of hurt,” said Fr Costello.

He said that Mrs Kilmartin, who worked as a veterinary assistant in the local surgery in Ballinasloe and was originally from Sarsfields Road, was a generous person who will be sadly missed not just by her family but the wider community.

“Deirdre gave herself completely to her family, to her work, to all of her friends and still had time to be a volunteer driver for meals on wheels. That showed the calibre of Deirdre.

“I would like to thank everyone. For everyone who has passed through in the last few days. For the emergency services; the first responders, the neighbours, the friends who were there on the scene,” added Fr Costello.

Read More: 'Two beautiful girls and just great friends': Community grieving for two mothers killed in horror crash

Mrs Kilmartin’s sister Geraldine said that the two women were great friends who were a familiar sight out walking in Ballinasloe.

“Dee loved to walk and every time I rang her it was always: ‘Oh, I have to go, I have to meet Maureen for a walk,’ or, ‘I’m just back, I went for a walk with Maureen.’

“They must have walked thousands of miles around Ballinasloe. Chatting and talking and loving life and sharing stories and waving at people who passed them by.

“Last year Dee did the Camino and we never laughed so much. She would be walking 25km around Ballinasloe and Galway and then she had to go do it in 30-degree heat. But she loved it.”

Mrs Kilmartin’s brother Declan Flanagan said she was a kind and generous person who always thought of others.

“As we planned this eulogy in the past few days my mind kept returning to a quote I read recently. ‘People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel’.

“Deirdre made people feel better. After I had a hospital stay a few years ago Deirdre called me in Chicago. I cannot recount the conversation word for word but I remember how it made me feel and I think of it often.

“So as we mourn a life taken too soon let us all celebrate how Deirdre made us feel.

“A toast to a wonderful woman, who loved and is loved. Who lived a life of beauty and warmth. A life well lived.”

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