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West Kerry families struck by double tragedy


Credit: Photo by Ted Creedon

Credit: Photo by Ted Creedon

Credit: Photo by Ted Creedon

TWO west Kerry families have been struck by tragedy in the past five months. Last November much loved Dún Chaoin woman Eilín Uí Shé, mother of well known Raidio na Gaeltachta broadcaster Pádraig Ó Sé and his sister Áine Uí Dhugháin, died following an accident in her home.

Shortly after that tragedy Áine was taken ill with cancer and following a prolonged period of treatment in hospital, died in the early hours of Friday morning at her home in Dún Chaoin.

Both families and the community have been devastated by the untimely deaths.

Áine, 41, a mother of five young children, was a teacher in Scoil Naomh Ghobnait in Dún Chaoin.

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Her husband, Jan, spends much of the year working overseas in the oil exploration industry and also operates a passenger ferry to the Blasket Islands.

Hundreds of people attended Áine's wake in her home on Saturday and close to 1,000 mourners attended her Requiem Mass in the local church on Sunday afternoon.

Following the concelebrated Mass, the mourners walked behind the hearse along the old road to the cemetery overlooking the Blasket Islands.

The whole area had been shrouded in dense fog but that cleared away shortly before the arrival of the funeral cortege. However, despite the clearance there was a palpable air of gloom and a surreal silence during the burial ceremony.

When Áine was laid to rest her sister-in-law Michelle Uí Shé played a lament on the tin whistle. Then the whole Ó Sé family sang Bacach Buí na Léige with the mourners joining in for the chorus.

"This was the biggest funeral seen in Dún Chaoin in modern times. Áine was a lovely, sweet girl that we all loved. As a teacher she was part of everyone's life. It's as if we have all lost a daughter or a sister," neighbour Micheál de Mordha told The Kerryman.

Áine Uí Dhugháin is survived by her husband Jan, daughters Clíodhna, Sinéad and Orfhlaith, sons Conall and Dara and brother Pádraig.