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Maura Higgins says she’s been ‘MIA’ recently as she grieves friend Andrew Rowan on anniversary

The digger driver was only 26 when he died when his motorbike collided with three cars in Athlone in July 2017.
Maura and Andrew

Maura and Andrew

Maura Higgins

Maura Higgins

Neasa CumiskeySunday World

Maura Higgins has apologised for being quiet on social media as she’s been grieving her late friend Andrew Rowan on the fifth anniversary of his death.

The digger driver was only 26 when he died after his motorbike collided with three cars in Athlone in July 2017.

Love Island star Maura took to Instagram on Tuesday to share some black and white videos of the pair, which included clips of them driving together as well as giggling in bed and posing on a night out.

Captioning the video, the Longford lady said: “Sorry I’ve been MIA... Took some time to myself as it’s that time of year. Another year without my best friend. I love you and miss you.”

Maura has previously opened up about her guilt over Andrew’s death, saying she used to “blame herself” as she declined an invitation to meet him that evening.

“For so long, I used to think that if I had gone for dinner with him that day, when he had asked, he wouldn't have been on that motorbike,” she recalled.

Maura Higgins

Maura Higgins

“My family kept saying to me, 'Maura, you can't think like this, it was going to happen', but I just kicked myself for so long and got worked up about it for so long.”

She added that she saw Andrew just hours before he was killed.

“He arrived down on the motorbike. I asked him, ‘Why are you on the motorbike?’ because he never used to drive it, and he said ‘Oh, it's a good day [to drive it], you know?’ And then he left.”

Maura’s ex-boyfriend, car salesman James Finnegan, broke the tragic news to her.

“It was a blur, I think I was in shock for a lot of it. I didn't break down properly until late into that night,” the 31-year-old said.

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“I was still sitting on my sofa and James was with me, and I remember something came into my head and just hit me, and I couldn't physically breathe. I was having such a panic attack. It took me a long, long time to be okay again.”

Maura pays tribute to her late best friend every year on the anniversary of his death.

Last year she posted an emotional message to her pal online with a black and white photo of the pair together.

“Another year has passed... but you’ll always be in my heart, because in there you’re still alive. LOVE YOU ALWAYS,” she wrote.

Andrew left behind parents Tom and Margaret, siblings Thomas and Susan, and devastated best friend Maura and her sisters Becki and Louise, who grew up with him.


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