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'We're devastated' - Dublin school pays tribute to teacher who died after being hit by getaway car

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Flowers left at the scene of the fatal crash on Avondale Road leading from Ballinclea Road in Dalkey. Pic Steve Humphreys, 11th March 2020

Flowers left at the scene of the fatal crash on Avondale Road leading from Ballinclea Road in Dalkey. Pic Steve Humphreys, 11th March 2020

Flowers left at the scene of the fatal crash on Avondale Road leading from Ballinclea Road in Dalkey. Pic Steve Humphreys, 11th March 2020

A DUBLIN school has paid tribute to a staff member who died after a getaway car used in a shop robbery in Dalkey ploughed into two women while fleeing the scene.

The incident happened at 9.20pm last night at the junction of Ballinclea Road and Avondale Road after the robbery at the shop on Barnhill Road.

The woman who died was named locally today as Jacqueline McGovern (54). She was a special needs teacher in the local Our Lady of Good Counsel girls national school.

Her injured friend also works at the same school.

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The scene of the fatal crash on Avondale Road leading from Ballinclea Road in Dalkey. Pic Steve Humphreys, 11th March 2020

The scene of the fatal crash on Avondale Road leading from Ballinclea Road in Dalkey. Pic Steve Humphreys, 11th March 2020

The scene of the fatal crash on Avondale Road leading from Ballinclea Road in Dalkey. Pic Steve Humphreys, 11th March 2020

Both teachers were prayed for at mass in the parish this morning.

Principal of the school, Caroline Quinn, paid tribute to the teachers today.

“We are devastated at the loss of our colleague who worked in one of our three classes for children with autism, and the injury of another staff member.

“Today is about supporting each other, the children, and the school community,” she said.

“Our critical incident management plan is being implemented and we are supported in that through a team from the National Education Psychological Service.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of both colleagues,” Ms Quinn added.

At a small table set up at the school entrance, with a burning candle and a photograph, staff and children stopped and blessed themselves as they passed.

Two men ran into a convenience store on Barnhill Road last night and threatened staff before making off with money from the cash register.

They left the scene in car being driven by a third man that was then involved in the fatal collision with the women, both in their 50s, moments later at the junction of Ballinclea Road and Avondale Road, Killiney.

The men abandoned the car at the scene of the collision and fled on foot.

The two pedestrians were treated at the scene by emergency services personnel and taken by ambulance to St Vincent’s University Hospital.

One of the women (54) died from her injuries, while the second woman (51) is being treated for what are described as minor injuries.

The occupants of the car have not yet been located and searches in the area were ongoing last night.

At first light this morning the extent of the carnage of the scene was laid bare.

Shattered car plastic, and scrape and tyre marks, show where the driver of the getaway car lost control while speeding down Ballinclea Road from the Killiney Road direction, most likely after hitting a speed bump.

The car then mounted the footpath and travelled across the junction of the Beech Court cul de sac to its left before carrying on down to the junction of Avondale Road.

The car went straight across the junction and appears to have collided with the two women on the footpath on Avondale Road.

Black tyre marks show where the car mounted the footpath, and deep scrapes indicate that a tyre, or tyres, may have burst on the car.

Gardaí say no one was physically harmed in the shop raid.

Both scenes were sealed off last night as forensic and collision investigators carried out assessments at the scene.

One local woman described how she and her husband heard a scraping sound on the road outside and how her husband went out to see what was happening.

“There was one car crashed and another in the middle of the road, and the women were on the ground,” she said.

“I think they were walking on the path but there were three shoes in the middle of the road too,” she added.

Investigating gardaí are appealing for witnesses and are particularly appealing to those with camera footage (including dash cam) who were in the area between 9pm and 9.30pm to make it available to them.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dun Laoghaire Garda Station on 01 666 5000 or the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111.

Investigations are ongoing.

Irish Independent