Thousands to mourn teacher killed by pick-up truck in freak school accident
A TOWN in Co Donegal will come to a standstill tomorrow for the funeral of one its best-loved young citizens.
Teacher Dawn Croke, who was in her 30s, died when she was struck by a pick-up truck in the grounds of St Crona’s National School in Dungloe on Thursday evening at around 6.30pm.
The popular PE and resource teacher at Rosses Community School was killed instantly. The six-yearold daughter of Ms Croke’s partner, Patrick McHugh, was injured by the runaway vehicle, but was saved by the quick-thinking action of brave Ms Croke who pushed her out of the way.
Gardai are investigating what exactly caused the Ford Ranger to move forward and cause the tragedy.
The town in West Donegal has been in mourning since the freak accident.
Ms Croke, who comes from a very well-known and respected family from Quay Road in the town, will be laid to rest following her funeral Mass at 11am at St Crona’s Church, with burial afterwards in Maghery cemetery.
A huge crowd is expected at the funeral, with guards of honour from both Rosses Community School and the Mary from Dungloe International Festival.
Dawn was the 2008 Dungloe entry for the Mary from Dungloe event, an honour she was very proud of, according to friends.
Huge numbers of people have been attending her wake at her parents’ home since 10am yesterday.
Rosses Community School, the school in which Ms Croke was so highly thought of, will remain closed tomorrow.
Dawn is survived by her father Tony, also a teacher at Rosses Community School, and her mother Anne, brothers and sister as well as her own two little boys Jason and Calum.
A statement issued on behalf of Rosses Community school said: “Our school wish to send our love and support to the family, school and local community at this sad time.
“We, the school community, remember with love and fondness our colleague Dawn. We pray for the family and friends at this sad time.”
Local TD Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher is a personal friend of the Croke family and in December welcomed Dawn and her pupils for a visit to Dail Eireann.
He said: “I wish to express my deepest sympathies and my profound personal sadness to her parents, her sons, her siblings, to her work colleagues and her wider circle of family and friends.
“There is a deep sense of shock and disbelief within our community that such a freak and tragic accident occurred. It is truly shocking.”
MOURNING: The funeral Mass of teacher Dawn Croke, who died when she was struck by a pick-up truck, will be held tomorrow