Griev­ing Ar dee says as ad good­bye to Josie and Kathy

POIGNANT MO­MENT AS HEARSES AR­RIVE SIDE BY SIDE AT CHURCH

The Argus - - NEWS - by HU­BERT MUR­PHY

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).

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