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RIP Tributes paid to Aoibheann Duffy (11) killed in van crash as she cycled near her Kerry home

It is the second tragedy to hit the extended Duffy family after Aoibheann's niece, Sofia Chloe Duffy Linnane, a baby, died suddenly last December.


Gardai at the scene of the accident

Gardai at the scene of the accident

Gardai at the scene of the accident

The death of an 11-year-old girl as she cycled near her Kerry home was the second tragedy to hit her extended family in just six months.

Tributes were paid to Aoibheann Duffy (11) who suffered fatal injuries after a tragic accident near her Abbeydorney home in north Kerry on Monday evening.

Aoibheann suffered critical injuries following a collision between her bike and a van some 3km outside the village shortly after 7.30pm.

Gardaí and paramedics were at the scene within minutes but, tragically, despite desperate efforts to stabilise her condition, the primary school student died shortly after being rushed to University Hospital Kerry (UHK) in Tralee.

The van driver, a man in his 50s, was also taken to UHK for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

The man, who is understood to be from the north Kerry area, was said to be shocked and distraught at the scene.

It is the second tragedy to hit the extended Duffy family after Aoibheann's niece, Sofia Chloe Duffy Linnane, a baby, died suddenly last December.

Councillor Deirdre Ferris, who has young relatives attending the same Ardfert school, said the entire community was shocked and heartbroken by the tragedy.

"I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to the family," she said.

"My thoughts and those of the entire community are with this young girl's family at this difficult time."

"Everyone was heartbroken by the news this morning. The entire community is shocked by what happened."

Councillor Ferris said Abbeydorney and Ardfert are proud, tightknit communities who will now do everything possible to support the devastated family at this tragic time.

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Aoibheann's family were described as very popular and highly respected in the north Kerry area.

The schoolgirl was a devoted juvenile member of Abbeydorney Ladies Gaelic Football Club - and was excited at the recent return to training following the easing of Level Five Covid-19 restrictions.

As a mark of respect, all training was cancelled by the club on Tuesday.

"We received the sad news of the tragic death of one of our young club members following a traffic accident on the Tralee Road," a club spokesperson said.

"We ask you to include her and her family in your prayers at this traumatic time for all. May her gentle soul rest in peace."

Ardfert national school also issued a special tribute to Aoibheann, who was in fifth class in the school.

Principal 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.

Ardfert NS said Aoibheann will be "greatly missed by everyone at the school."

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

Ardfert NS 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 school asked that the privacy of the wider school community be respected.

Gardaí have now appealed for anyone who witnessed the collision or who may have seen the van or the bicycle in the minutes before the tragedy to contact them.

"Any road users who were travelling near Abbeydorney on the R556, between 7pm and 8pm (Monday) evening and who may have camera footage (including dash cam), is asked to make it available,” the force said.

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