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Sunday 24 June 2018

'We had some great days together' - husband of woman killed in freak accident weeks before daughter's wedding

Anne McCann
Anne McCann

Donna Deeney

The husband of a Co Tyrone woman killed in a freak accident has paid an emotional tribute before her funeral today.

Anne McCann (52), a mother of three, died on Monday at her home near Ballygawley.

It is understood the car she had been travelling in rolled towards her as she closed a gate at the driveway of her home at Altnamuskin Road.

Requiem mass will take place at St Mary’s Church in Dunmoyle this morning at 11am and hundreds of mourners are expected to join the family to pay their final respects.

Ahead of the service, Mrs McCann’s husband Colm paid a moving tribute to his wife of more than 30 years.

He described how the tragedy struck just as the couple were enjoying the excitement before the wedding of their only daughter Tanya in three weeks’ time.

“Anne was a great woman who just loved our children, Darren and Ciaran and Tanya, and just doted on our first grandson, Cillian, who is five months old,” he told the Ulster Herald.

“We have been living in this house for the past 28 years and have only great memories now.

“She came to the area and made the community of Altnamuskin and Dunmoyle her own, but she was a Drumquin woman at heart and never forgot where she came from.

“She would always say ‘Up the Tones’ (a reference to Drumquin Wolfe Tones GAA club) when people started talking about football.

“She was my number one supporter when I was playing and it was the same with the children.

“She always encouraged, helped and supported them in whatever they were doing.”

Mr McCann recalled his wife’s pride when her son was part of Tyrone’s All-Ireland minor-winning team in 2004.

“Anne was someone who did so much for the community and we enjoyed some great days together,” he added.

“The time in 2004 when Darren won the Minor All-Ireland with Tyrone was a mighty day for all of us, including her parents, Seamus and Kathleen, who have been so involved with the GAA all their lives.”

Errigal Ciaran GAA club cancelled all activities until after the funeral today. Its members along with Drumquin GAC have played an active role in helping the family in recent days.

Mr McCann thanked the community for its support.

He told the Ulster Herald: “We are all just so thankful for the support we have been receiving from our neighbours, friends and local community and the Errigal Ciaran GAA and Drumquin Wolfe Tones Club.”

Mrs McCann died at the scene despite valiant efforts by a passing nurse and paramedics to save her.

It was the second tragedy to hit the rural community in recent weeks. A neighbour of Mrs McCann, Kathleen McGarvey, was killed in a road crash on the A5 road in January.

Local Sinn Fein councillor Sean Donnelly said the community had been left deeply shocked.

“This is a small rural community and as such everyone knows everyone, so when tragedy happens it affects us all,” he said.

“This is the second time we have had to come together after a road tragedy, but we are a strong community and we will do whatever is necessary to help Colm and the whole wider family during these difficult times.

He added: “They are assured of our deepest and most sincere condolences.”

Belfast Telegraph

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