The counties of Roscommon and Galway and the entire region was plunged into shock last weekend after news emerged of the sudden and tragic deaths of two friends, Maureen Dooley and Deirdre Kilmartin. The two women were out for a walk on the outskirts of Ballinasloe Town at Station Road when they were struck by a car which has just collided with another car in what was a freak accident. Both women were pronounced dead at the scene.
The women were very well-known in a community which has been left stunned by the tragedy. Maureen Dooley (55) (nee Flanagan) who lived in Ballinasloe, was a popular Maths teacher at Marist College Athlone. Her husband Aidan played for Roscommon in the 1980 All-Ireland senior football final against Kerry. The late Maureen Dooley is mourned by husband Aidan, daughter Lauren, sons Cian and Odhran, parents Albie and Eileen, sister Adrienne, brothers Brendan and Alfred, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, mother-in-law, many other family members, neighbours, friends, and work colleagues at Marist College Athlone. She was pre-deceased by her brother John.
Deirdre Kilmartin (53) (nee Flanagan) who lived at Shralee, Ballinasloe, worked in a local veterinary surgery and was very popular with work colleagues and in the community. She is mourned by her husband Kieran, son James and daughter Emma, her parents Declan and Evelyn, sisters Geraldine, Oonagh and Maeve, brothers Declan and Kevin, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, other family members, friends, neighbours, and work colleagues.
The funeral services for the two women took place over Sunday, Monday and Tuesday and the funerals were the biggest seen in the region for many years, with thousands of people attending to extend their sympathy to the heartbroken families. There were poignant scenes at the ceremonies as the enormity of what had happened in this freak accident was all too real and the popularity of the women was reflected in the enormous number of people witnessed at both funerals. May they rest in peace.