Tuesday 25 September 2018

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

  • Two mothers - one a teacher, one a veterinary worker - named locally as the pedestrian victims in horror crash
  • Maureen Dooley (55) and Deirdre Kilmartin (54) lost their lives in Ballinasloe in Galway on Thursday night
  • Fatally injured when they were struck by a car which had collided with a second car
  • Two women were life-long friends and well-respected in the community
Pictured: Mothers and lifelong friends Deirdre Kilmartin (inset left) and Maureen Dooley (inset right) lost their lives in horror crash in Ballinasloe
Pictured: Mothers and lifelong friends Deirdre Kilmartin (inset left) and Maureen Dooley (inset right) lost their lives in horror crash in Ballinasloe
The scene of the fatal accident involving two women who lost their lives on the Station Road (R358) in Ballinasloe, Galway Pic Steve Humphreys
Emergency services at the scene of the Ballinasloe crash. Photo: Hany Marzouk

Ryan Nugent and Daragh Small

A devastated community paid tribute two mothers and life-long friends who lost their lives in a "freak" accident.

Maureen Dooley (55) and Deirdre Kilmartin (54) lost their lives in Ballinasloe in Galway on Thursday night when they were out walking near their homes.

The two close friends were in their 50s, and were both married with children.

They were well-known in the Galway town, with local councillors saying that "everybody is devastated".

Maureen Dooley
Maureen Dooley

The two friends were walking on the Station Road shortly before 6pm on Thursday when the incident occurred.

A garda spokesman said mum-of-three Ms Dooley and mum-of-two Ms Kilmartin were fatally injured when they were struck by a car which had collided with a second car. They were pronounced dead at the scene.

Deirdre Kilmartin
Deirdre Kilmartin

Ms Dooley was a secondary school maths teacher at Marist College in Athlone. She was from Deerpark and is survived by her husband and three children.

Ms Kilmartin was from originally from Sarsfields Road in Ballinasloe, which adjoins the road where the accident took place. In recent years she had lived with her family on the Shannonbridge side of the town, and she worked in a local veterinary surgery.

The surgery remained closed as a mark of respect on Friday, with a sign in black ribbon paying tribute to their colleague and friend on the door.

They have been described as prominent figures in the community, and could often be seen out walking together.

Sean Tully – a neighbour of the two over the years – said they even went to national school together.

“They were two beautiful girls and just great friends,” he said.

The scene of the fatal accident involving two women who lost their lives on the Station Road (R358) in Ballinasloe, Galway
Pic Steve Humphreys
The scene of the fatal accident involving two women who lost their lives on the Station Road (R358) in Ballinasloe, Galway Pic Steve Humphreys

“As people they were outstanding, they were very warm, friendly, outgoing girls.

“They come from a background of community.

“My brother and his wife waved at them Thursday evening. They were great friends and they walked everywhere in town, covered every part of the town,” he added.

Asked how heavily involved they’d be in the community, Mr Tully said they always be “in the background helping out”.

“We’re locals, but you’d get the big wave from them when they were passing,” he said.

When trying to come to terms with the tragedy, one local just said there was “no rhyme or reason to it” - they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Local councillor, Dermot Connolly knew both women.

Mr Connolly said he’d also spoken to a woman in the town who had seen Maureen and Deirdre walking that evening.

“It’s devastation everywhere you go,” he said.

“It’s shocking news, it’s something you never want to visit your community,.

“It’s a freak I suppose, what took place and something you wish you never have to come across.

“You can’t put the genie back in the bottle, you can’t turn the clock back.

“You just say to yourself, how did this happen?

“Your heart would bleed for them all really,” he added.

Gardaí have issued an appeal for any witnesses to contact the Ballinasloe Garda Station on 090 9631890, The Garda Confidential Telephone Line 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.

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