Tributes paid to 11-year-old girl killed in road collision in Co Kerry

Death casts shadow over area as family endures second tragedy in recent months

Eleven-year-old girl killed in road collision near home in Co Kerry named locally. Photograph: Rip.ie

Eleven-year-old girl killed in road collision near home in Co Kerry named locally. Photograph: Rip.ie

 

Tributes have been paid to the 11-year-old girl cyclist who died following a collision near her home between Ardfert and Abbeydorney Co Kerry on Monday.

Named locally as Aoibheann Duffy, the fifth class pupil attended Ardfert National School.

Prayers were offered for her family yesterday at St Brendan’s Church, Ardfert.

Fr Pat Crean Lynch, parish priest of Ardfert, recalled this was the family’s second tragedy in just five months.

Last December Aoibheann’s much loved niece, Sofia, who would have celebrated her 2nd birthday today, Tuesday, had died suddenly, the priest said.

Comforting the more than 20 pupils in 5th class during a visit to Aoibheann’s school early this morning, Fr Crean Lynch told Aoibheann’s class mates the Lord had called her.

Aoibheann, so kind and so loving would not be alone but would be with her little cousin, he explained.

“It’s a double whammy to the family. It has cast a shadow over the whole of the area,” he said.

Collision

The 11-year-old had been cycling near her home when the collision with a van occurred at approximately 7.30pm.

She was taken to Tralee University Hospital where she later died. The driver of the van, a man in his 50s, was removed to Tralee University Hospital for treatment of his injuries.

Local councillor Deirdre Ferris (SF) said the community would come together and support both families, especially the family of Aoibhinn.

School psychological services were called in to help the children in her class deal with the shocking news this and the school was preparing a statement.

Principal of Ardfert NS Betty Stack described her as “an active, outgoing, fun-loving girl who was always smiling.”

She said she was also kind, considerate and thoughtful of others.

Ms Stack said that everyone was deeply saddened by the terrible tragedy.

In a statement Ardfert NS said Aoibheann will be “greatly missed by everyone at the school.”

Extended

The school extended its sympathy to Aoibheann’s family, friends and neighbours.

Ardfert NS said it has implemented its critical incident management plan with support being offered for students and the school community over the tragedy.

Psychologists from the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) will be working with teachers to help all students and parents.

The road remained closed for much of Tuesday for a technical examination .

Gardaí­ are appealing to anyone who may have witnessed the incident to come forward.

Road users who were travelling near Abbeydorney on the R556, between 7pm and 8pm on Monday, and who may have camera footage are asked to make it available to Gardaí­.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Tralee Garda station on (066) 7102300, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda station.