| 11.4°C Dublin

Heartbreak Abbeydorney community 'devastated' after tragic death of Aoibheann Duffy (11)

"She will be greatly missed by all of us. This is a terrible tragedy for Aoibheann's family, our school, and our community"

Close

Aoibheann Duffy

Aoibheann Duffy

Aoibheann Duffy

Aoibheann Duffy (11) has been remembered as a kind, outgoing and fun-loving girl following her tragic death on Monday evening.

The Kerry schoolgirl was killed after a van struck her shortly after 7:30pm as she cycled her bike on the Abbeydorney road just 3km beyond Tralee.

She was attended to at the scene but later died of her injuries at University Hospital Kerry. The driver of the van, a man in his 50s, was also treated for his injuries.

The road was immediately closed off to traffic and remained closed on Tuesday to allow Garda Forensic Collision Investigators conduct further work. Gardaí are appealing to anyone who may have witnessed the incident to come forward.

AoIbheann's death has shocked the entire community of Ardfert where she lived close to the parish boundary with Abbeydorney. Tributes were paid on Monday evening by the Abbeydorney GAA Ladies Football Club of which Aoibheann was a member. She was excited to be back playing football following lockdown.

Close

Gardaí attending the scene of the fatal accident that claimed the life of 11-year-old Aoibheann Duffy, on the main Tralee Abbeydorney road on Monday night. Photo by Domnick Walsh

Gardaí attending the scene of the fatal accident that claimed the life of 11-year-old Aoibheann Duffy, on the main Tralee Abbeydorney road on Monday night. Photo by Domnick Walsh

Gardaí attending the scene of the fatal accident that claimed the life of 11-year-old Aoibheann Duffy, on the main Tralee Abbeydorney road on Monday night. Photo by Domnick Walsh

As a mark of respect, the club cancelled training for the week. Aoibheann was also a member of the Cillard Camogie Club (Kilmoyley-Ardfert).

A death notice on RIP.ie reads: "Adored daughter of Patrick and Nuala (Henchy) and dearest sister of Michael, Katie, Gavin, Ruth, Michaela and Daniel.

"Sadly missed by her heartbroken family, her grandparents John and Mary, uncles and aunts Noel, Christina, Denise, Joan, Catherine and Philomena, Godmother Emily, her eight cousins, relatives, neighbours and friends."

A private funeral will be held for Aoibheann this Friday at 12pm on Friday in St. Brendan’s Church, Ardfert.

The ceremony will be streamed online and burial will take place in the Abbey Cemetery, Ardfert.

The youngster attended fifth-class at Ardfert National School where pupils and staff are utterly devastated. Throughout Tuesday the school was inundated with messages of support. Psychologists from the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) attended the school to support and advise teachers in their efforts to assist students at this time.

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

School Principal Betty Stack learned about Aoibheann's death on Monday evening and said she 'will be greatly missed by all of us.'

Ms Stack described Aoibheann as an active, outgoing, fun-loving girl who was always smiling, kind and considerate of others.

"She will be greatly missed by all of us. This is a terrible tragedy for Aoibheann's family, our school, and our community. We are deeply saddened by this event. Our sympathy and thoughts are with Aoibheann's family and friends," she said.

Ardfert Parish Priest Fr Pat Crean-Lynch spoke of the devastation in the community and the overwhelming support for the Duffy family. Fr Pat spoke of how this is the second tragedy since last December to hit the family.

"People are greatly saddened. Aoibheann's little niece, baby Sofia, died last December. Little Sofia's birthday is today (Tuesday) and the family would have been trying to cope with that, and now for Aoibheann to be taken. Everyone is devastated," Fr Pat said.

Fr Pat spoke with the family and visited Ardfert N.S on Tuesday morning to comfort them and say prayers.

"The community is distraught. People were only finding out at Mass on Tuesday morning, and it was very tough to see. They realise this family has had it very tough in the last five or six months. I only ever met Aoibheann once which was at her niece's funeral in December. I met her in sad circumstances, she was a lovely little girl. It's just unbelievable, it's taken the wind out of everyone. We believe that Aoibheann is helping Sofia to celebrate her second birthday in heaven today," Fr Pat said.

Ardfert native and Sinn Féin Councillor Deirdre Ferris said the Ardfert community is a very wide and encompassing one that is very supportive in difficult times.

"We're a very close community and the one thing we do is get behind each other. This is very traumatic. The loss of anyone in your community is one thing, but the loss of a child is heart-breaking," she said.

"For the young kids in the school, this is probably the first tragic experience in their lives, and they are being helped in the best way possible to understand and comprehend what is going on at the loss of their friend," she said.

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

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices


Top Videos





Privacy