tragic loss | 

Marty Morrissey opens up on witnessing the road accident that killed his mother Peggy

Marty Morrissey and his late mother Peggy. Photo: RTÉ

Ciara O'Loughlin

RTÉ star Marty Morrissey said he told his mother he loved her during her final moments as she tragically died in a road accident.

Peggy Morrissey was 94 when she died in December 2021 during Storm Barra after she was involved in a single-vehicle accident at Annagh, in Miltown Malbay, Co Clare.

She had passed her driving test just a few days before the accident and was on her way to meet her son Marty to stay in a hotel close by, as her house was not suitable to stay in during a storm.

"Our house is on the Wild Atlantic Way on top of a hill with no protection, so when the winds from the storm move in the roof is high up,” the sports commentator said on RTÉ’s Late Late Show.

“So every time there was a storm we moved, this particular day I was in Dublin and she said ‘there's an awful storm coming in’ so I said I would go down and we would stay in the Old Round Hotel.

“My mother was 94 and she passed her driving test the previous Thursday.

“I said I’d go back and collect her but she said ‘no I’ll drive’ so I said I would meet her 15 minutes from home, and she wasn’t there, unfortunately.

“She was driving on a road that she drove on three or four times a day and she missed a bend and we lost her.”

Marty opened up about the trauma of seeing the accident.

“I kept driving and I came upon the accident, it was tough,” he said.

"I told her I loved her, the fire brigade were there, the gardaí. They did their best to save my mum but I knew what she wanted, she had a deep faith, so I asked them would they say a prayer with me and they did,” he said.

“I want to compliment and thank those frontline people, we forget how brave they are.”

The RTÉ broadcaster said he receives hundreds of letters and cards every day since his mother’s passing four months ago.

“It was the generosity of the people of Ireland that overwhelmed me and has been overwhelming, every day without exaggeration since mom died I’ve been getting mass cards, sometimes between 100 and 125 a day,” he said.

“It wasn't just the mass cards that I got, it was the letters, I have read every letter and it was their stories of grief and heartbreak and their words that consoled me.

“I thought initially I’ll get around to them and write to everybody, I will be doing it for the next three years.”

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