Local community in shock after deaths of Louth couple

Quigley and Beagan families are well-known in close-knit parish of Kilkerley in Dundalk

Gardaí at the house where  Marie Quigley was found dead  near Hackballscross, Co Louth. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Gardaí at the house where Marie Quigley was found dead near Hackballscross, Co Louth. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

 

People in the parish of Kilkerley, Dundalk, where the Co Louth couple Marie and Jim Quigley lived, have expressed their shock and sadness at their deaths and the circumstances of the tragedy.

Kilkerley parish priest Fr Gerry Campbell, said last night the community “is just in shock and numbed by what has happened and that is only a small percentage of what the family is feeling. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.”

He described Kilkerley as a close-knit, rural community, and said the Quigley and Beagan families - Mrs Quigley was Beagan before her marriage - are well-known in the area.

Fr Campbell said words could not really express how people were feeling. “We’re just devastated and I’m sure this feeling of devastation will linger for a long time”.

He said the family would really need the support of friends through the funerals and afterwards.

The couple has three sons - Mark who is returning from Canada, Gavin who lives in Cork, Ciarán who lives in Dundalk - and a daughter, Sonya, who lives in Kildare.

‘Awful tragedy’

Members of the local GAA club were also shocked at the news of the two deaths.

One member of Kilkerley Gaelic Football Club said: “It’s an awful tragedy. They would be well-known in the area . . . They’d be a decent family.”

Mr Quigley himself was not a member of the club but his brothers are.

The couple were both retired, but Ms Quigley had previously worked in customs clearance in her family’s business.

Sinn Féin leader and local TD Gerry Adams said in a statement: “I wish to extend my sincerest sympathies to the families and friends of two people killed in tragic circumstances in separate incidents near Hackballscross and on the M1 near Ardee today.

“My thoughts are with all those affected at this sad time.”