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Murder-suicide dad buried with wife

Marie and Jim Quigley
Marie and Jim Quigley
Murder-suicide dad buried with wife

MURDER-suicide dad Jim Quigley was buried beside his wife yesterday after his family described his mental illness as: “One battle we could not win.”

An emotional funeral service heard how Marie Quigley and her family had forgiven Jim many times in life. And they forgave him one last time in death as he was buried with his wife.

Gardai believe that Mr Quigley killed his wife with a hammer at their home near Hackballscross, Co. Louth, before driving his car in front of a lorry on the M1 motorway a short time later.

The couple were found within hours of each other last Monday.

More than a thousand mourners filled St Joseph’s Redemptorist Church in Dundalk yesterday to pay their last respects to the couple.

Their son-in-law Jeff Ahern described them as “a wonderful couple and wonderful parents who loved each other dearly” and said they had “stood by each other through thick and thin”.

Wonderful

The main celebrant, Fr Tommy Hogan, who is a family friend, said he has never experienced such unconditional love as that expressed by the family towards Jim.

He said Mr Quigley had a cross to bear in life that Jim had described to him as being like “a big dark cloud”.

In a conversation a number of years ago, Mr Quigley told the priest that when he comes out of the dark cloud, “it was like after being drunk; you remember little bits”.

Mr Quigley had told Fr Hogan that he knew he hurt his family when he was under that cloud, “but do you know something, they always forgave me”.

Fr Hogan said that in his time in the priesthood he has never come across “an expression of unconditional love of God that I found in this family”, in the way they had always forgiven him.

Marie was described in the prayers of the faithful as a woman “of deep faith, a wonderful mother, faithful wife and friend” whose life was “filled with kindness and goodness”.

A special reflection after Holy Communion was read by Marie’s sister Noreen Beagan.

Then the couple’s son-in-law Jeff Ahern spoke and said Marie was very successful in business, “but she couldn’t have been successful without the love and support of Jim”.

Deteriorated

Mr Ahern said: “Jim’s illness, which he battled for a number of years, deteriorated from a physical illness to a mental illness. Having as a family gone through everything together, this was one battle we just couldn’t win.”

The couple were buried together beside their son Aidan, who died at a young age, in St Patrick’s Cemetery, Dundalk.

Elaine Keogh