Friday 20 April 2018

Great friends 'died together' in Hunterstown accident

Hubert Murphy

Great friends and first cousins, Josie Duff and Kathy McDonald, died together in one last sign of friendship, their inquest heard last week.

Opened and then adjourned at Drogheda courthouse, evidence was given of how both women got off a bus and were walking across the road at the Hunterstown Inn when they were struck by a car close to 6.30pm on Monday, January 16 last.

Louth coroner Ronan Maguire said that Kathy had been attending a hospital appointment and Josie had gone along to give her company. 'It is something only a friend would do, to go and support someone,' he stated.

He said they died 'instantly' and would have felt nothing.

Dr Jane Thorn, pathologist, gave evidence of examining both bodies in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital. They showed signs of trauma, consistent with a road traffic accident.

Mr Maguire said it was tragic that the families had lost someone they loved so suddenly.

From the results of the post mortem, it was found both women were reasonably healthy with Mr Maguire adding that 'they should have seen a few more good years.'

A deposition from Garda Fiona Macken stated that she attended the scene within minutes of the report.

Gerry Cummins GP had been in the Hunterstown Inn when someone came in and said there had been someone knocked down. He pronounced both women dead at the scene.

Josephine Duff was 78 and from Kells Road in Ardee while Kathy McDonald was 70 and from the Drogheda Road, Ardee.

The coroner said that was all the evidence he could take as with all traffic accident cases, a file was going to the Department of Public Prosecution in relation to the accident.

He then adjourned the case to a later date.

Members of both the Duff and McDonald families were present on the day.

Drogheda Independent