Grieving Ar dee says as ad goodbye to Josie and Kathy
POIGNANT MOMENT AS HEARSES ARRIVE SIDE BY SIDE AT CHURCH
TRAGIC Hunterstown road traffic victims Josie Duff and Kathy McDonald were laid to rest amidst a veil of sadness that has descended on the wider Ardee community in recent days.
The cousins and lifelong friends died following an accident as they got off a bus last Monday week.
Saturday’s joint funeral mass saw over 1,000 people gather in a show of solidarity that captured the essence of traditional Ardee life.
As Finlays’ two hearses drove side by side down the Drogheda Road towards the Church of the Nativity, a town stopped.
The Ardee Business group had requested members turn off lights as the church bell struck 11am.
Gardai standing on duty brought traffic to a standstill and in emotional scenes members of the wheelchair association waited in line in tribute to founder member Josie, such a driving force for them down the years.
Canon Peter Murphy spoke of the ‘grief and sadness’ shared by all after such a tragic accident, describing Josie and Kathy as ‘ two great ladies’ who always showed great kindness. He added they were very stylish and were regular faces in the church.
The likes of the hospice movement and the wheelchair association would miss them while they had very fond memories of just a few weeks ago when they attended the Ferdia ladies group Christmas party in the Valley Inn.
The fact that the women were so much a part of the community left a lot of people sad, but to their families the loss was huge, ‘ they meant the world to their families’, Fr Murphy added.
The music on the day was stunning, including international performimg star Mary Duff.
Family members thanked the members of the emergency services for all they did on the night of the accident and prayed for them. They also said they appreciated the wonderful support of the community that had kept them going at a difficult time.
Josie Duff (nee Reilly), is survived by husband John and loving children Peter, Mary, Kevin, Loretta and Fiona, grandchildren Ailish, Kira, Adele, Elaine, Aidan, Owen, Conor, Caroline, Bryan, Hazel and Jack, great-grandchildren Harry, Keelyn and Sam and other relatives.
Kathy McDonald (nee Carpenter), was predeceased by her husband Seamus and is sadly missed by her sons Dwayne and Karl and her daughter Alison, grandchildren Frícra, Katie, Laura, Caoimhe, Brónach, Erin, Finn and Rhen, sisters Sheila, Mary and Ann, brother Paddy, daughters-in-law Marcella and Adele, son-in-law Derek, and other relatives.
As the ceremony ended and Fr John O’Leary sprinkled holy water on both coffins, the song ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow, echoed around the church. ‘Someday I’ll wish upon a star Wake up where the clouds are far behind me Where trouble melts like lemon drops High above the chimney top That’s where you’ll find me...’
Gardai stand in tribute as the two hearses arrive at the Church of the Nativity in Ardee on Saturday morning and inset, the sign in the window of the Irish Wheelchair Association shop beside the church.
Floral tributes at the scene of the accident at Hunterstown last week and a simple message on one of the bouquets (below).