Tuesday 25 June 2019

Double heartache for two families over New Year's

Siobhan Dunne passes away the day after her father John's funeral

The late Siobhan Dunne
The late Siobhan Dunne
The late John Franey Snr

Myles Buchanan

The communities of Wicklow town, Rathnew and surrounding areas have been left reeling in shock after a married mother passed away suddenly on New Years Day, the day after her father's funeral.

47-year-old Siobhan Dunne passed away with little warning at the home she shared in Wicklow town with her husband David and their three children Cormac, Callum and Kacey.

On New Year's Eve Siobhan attended her father's funeral, John Franey Snr of The Bank, Rathnew, after he passed away on the day after St Stephen's Day.

Family and friends who had attended John Snr's funeral were stunned to hear the next day that Siobhan had passed away having suddenly taken ill.

'It's such a tragic turn of events and the whole community of Rathnew and Wicklow town is in deep shock,' said Cllr John Snell. 'It's heartbreaking to have such a bereavement so close to the burial of John Snr, especially at this time of year, just after Christmas and during the New Year. People are still trying to come to term with events'.

There was a huge attendance at Siobhan's funeral mass held in St Joseph's Church, Rathnew on Saturday, followed by her interment in Rathnew Cemetery.

Siobhan was well known for her friendly and approachable nature and her dedication to her family. She was a past member of Wicklow Rowing Club and rowed in the 1990s in a very successful Senior Ladies crew.

Wicklow Rowing Club, Rathnew GAA Club and St Patrick's GAA Club all posted online tributes to Siobhan.

A statement from Rathnew GAA Club posted on New Years Day said: 'A community is deep in shock, heartbroken and devastated at the news that broke today. Yesterday we gave John Franey Snr a fitting send off. We all shared in the Franey families grief. We talked of the pain endured by the family over the years with too many tragedy's visited upon one family. Then today the totally shocking news broke, another tragedy. Our thoughts are with the Franey and Dunne families at this impossible time. R.I.P. Siobhan heaven is definitely gaining an angel'.

John Franey Snr passed away peacefully at St Vincent's Hospital on December 27. He was an active member of Wicklow Pigeon Club and was instrumental in establishing Rathnew Pigeon Club in the 1980s. He won a national pigeon racing award in the 1970s after participating in an All-Ireland held in Scotland. Last year both clubs presented him with an award for his dedication to pigeon racing.

Kathleen Franey, John's wife and Siobhan's mother, passed away in October of 2017.

Sadly this isn't the first time tragedy has visited the Franey family. A sister and brother of Siobhan both passed away in 2004. Valerie O'Neill passed away aged 42 after bravely battling illness, while Malcolm Franey died just months later after he was the innocent victim of an assault and fell and knocked his head off the ground.

Wicklow People