Wednesday 19 June 2019

'She was a lovely, intelligent girl who loved life' - Tributes paid to Irish teacher (27) killed in Dubai bus crash

Fiona Geraghty tragically lost her life in the crash Picture: Supplied by family
Fiona Geraghty tragically lost her life in the crash Picture: Supplied by family

Laura Lynott and Ryan Nugent

A “strong but gentle” young Irish national school teacher has tragically died in a bus crash in Dubai while her boyfriend, also from Ireland, was injured.

Fiona Geraghty (27), from north county Dublin, died in hospital in Dubai in the very early hours of Friday morning after the crash which claimed the lives of 17 people.

Ms Geraghty was a much-loved teacher from St Mologa’s Senior National School in Balbriggan.

Her boyfriend, also a teacher, was not seriously hurt but suffered internal bleeding and head injuries.  He was due to be released from hospital this evening.

This image released by Dubai Police Headquarters shows the aftermath of a bus crash on Friday (Dubai Police HQ via AP)
This image released by Dubai Police Headquarters shows the aftermath of a bus crash on Friday (Dubai Police HQ via AP)

Ms Geraghty, a former Loreto Convent Balbriggan student, had been taking a year-long career break in Dubai, where she was teaching primary school aged children.

One family friend told the Irish Independent the young couple had just decided they were going to extend their stay in Dubai for another year.

This image released by Dubai Police Headquarters shows the aftermath of a bus crash on Friday (Dubai Police HQ via AP)
This image released by Dubai Police Headquarters shows the aftermath of a bus crash on Friday (Dubai Police HQ via AP)

Both had been teaching at the School of Research Science in Al Warqa, Dubai.

The couple, former students at St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, met in college.

“Fiona’s parents were in Lanzarote celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary when they got the call yesterday that their pride and joy was gone,” the friend said.

“She was a lovely, bright, young, intelligent girl, who loved life. Fiona was just out in Dubai for a year with her boyfriend trying to save. I’m just devastated. I feel for her family - I’m numb.”

The Oman-registered bus was carrying 31 passengers on Thursday when the crash took place on Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road in Dubai.

The driver, in his 50s, was receiving treatment for minor injuries. An investigation has been launched into the cause of the accident.

Police say the bus crashed into a sign but they did not elaborate on what caused the bus driver to hit the sign, adding that "sometimes a minor error or negligence" can be fatal.

The force said the dead included different nationalities. At least three others were injured in the crash.

Mwasalat, a government-owned bus company in Oman, said the crash involving its Muscat-to-Dubai route happened at 6pm local time on Thursday.

It said it would suspend the service for the immediate future.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade says it is aware of the case and is providing consular assistance.

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News