Doctors fought to save pregnant crash mum

Clodagh Sheehy

THE family of a pregnant teacher who was killed in a three-car crash were too upset to attend her inquest.

Roisin Connolly (38) and her unborn daughter died in the collision on the main Dublin to Derry road just after Christmas 2010.

Roisin, from Gracepark Manor in Drumcondra, Dublin, had been a passenger in a car driven by her husband, Stephen, and had to be cut from the car wreckage. She was 23 weeks pregnant.

Her baby, Catherine, was stillborn despite desperate attempts by doctors to save them both, the inquest was told.

She was taken straight to the operating theatre at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda where she had two cardiac arrests.

At 10.20pm Catherine was stillborn and surgeons tried to repair her mother's uterus, which had ruptured in two places.

Roisin continued to lose a large amount of blood and was operated on again - but despite extensive transfusions and surgery she was pronounced dead at 4.57am.

She died from chest, abdominal and pelvic injuries, and her baby from multiple injuries, and as a result of being so premature, the inquest heard.

Husband Stephen, an accountant and son of former Fianna Fail junior minister Ger Connolly, had to undergo surgery after the crash.

Stephen and Roisin, who worked as a teacher at the Educate Together School, in Balbriggan, had only been married the previous April.

The couple were expecting their first child.


Off-duty garda Orla Sherry, who came upon the crash scene, told the inquest the Connolly's car was in a head-on collision with a BMW.

Garda Sherry stayed with Mrs Connolly and tried to reassure her as they waited for the emergency services to arrive.

The BMW was driven by Kevin McArdle (29), of Longfield, Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan, who was jailed for four years for dangerous driving causing their deaths.

Two of his passengers also died following the crash -- Paul Carroll (27), of Dunheeda, Kingscourt, Co Cavan, and Glenn Curtis (27), of Dunroe, Nobber, Co Meath.

The crash happened on the Carrickmacross to Ardee road at around 6.40pm on December 27, 2010

The coroner said he had been informed the family of Ms Connolly did not want to be at the inquest, and he understood that they did not want to have to revisit it again. The jury returned verdicts of dangerous driving causing death.

Dundalk Coroner Ronan Maguire expressed his "heartfelt" sympathies to the Connolly family and said that there had been "national shock at the loss of life".