Mother dies in crash after call from hospital about newborn

A woman killed in a crash in Co Tipperary on Monday had just taken a phone call from a hospital about her one-day-old sick daughter when she was killed. Nicola Kenny (26) from Thurles[1], Co Tipperary, was in a car with her mother Ann and her aunt Irene Whelan on the hard shoulder of the M8 when a lorry collided with them. The crash happened between junctions 9 and 10 near Dogstown at about 12.25pm.

Ms Kenny had given birth to Lily Rose on Sunday morning at about 2am and she was being driven to Temple Street Hospital in Dublin where the baby had been transferred hours after being born. Ms Kenny was in the back of the car when it was struck from behind by a truck a few miles south of Cashel. Her mother and aunt were seriously injured in the crash. The driver of the truck, who is from Northern Ireland[2], was uninjured but was badly shaken by the crash, which led to the temporary closure of one lane of the northbound carriageway.

It is understood the new mother had just been told Lily Rose s condition had improved and the baby was being returned to South Tipperary General Hospital in Clonmel. The family was in the process of deciding whether to return home or to go to the hospital to wait for the baby s return. A family spokesman said: You can t imagine this, the family are devastated. They are in shock. They pulled in on to the hard shoulder and took that phone call. The hospital told her the child was okay and that they were going to transfer her back. They were making the decision to turn back. The set of coincidences is just unbelievable.

Ms Kenny s family, including her father Patrick and brother, also Patrick, asked for people who wish to make donations to give money to the Clonmel Hospital Baby Unit.

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Mother Dies In Crash After Call From Hospital About Newborn

The relative paid a glowing tribute to Ms Kenny. Nicola was well loved. A bubbly character, a great young girl. You couldn t say anything bad about her. Any time you met her she had a smile on her face, everyday. Her mother Ann, who was in the front passenger seat, suffered a broken arm and other injuries in the collision but was discharged from hospital to be with her husband and son. Ms Whelan is understood to be in intensive care at University Hospital Limerick but her injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

Lily Rose was transferred by ambulance to Temple Street on Sunday evening as doctors were concerned for her health, but it is understood her condition stabilised overnight and into Monday morning, prompting the phone call to Ms Kenny urging her not to travel to Dublin. There was a sense of deep shock in Thurles as local people heard the news, according to councillor Jim Ryan.

She seemed to be a very popular girl. It is absolutely tragic and people can t believe it. It is really a harrowing story for the people of Thurles, especially when you hear the reason for the accident, it s so sad, he said. Ms Kenny s family is from Kennedy Park, just around the corner from Semple Stadium where there were scenes of celebration on Monday evening as the Tipperary senior hurling team had their homecoming following Sunday s All-Ireland final victory.

It s unbelievable the contrast. People were there last night celebrating and in good form. Then to hear that is tragic, added Mr Ryan.

Her grandfather, the late Paddy Kenny, was a member of the successful Tipperary teams of the late 1940s and early 1950s, while her grand-uncle, the late Se n Kenny, captained the All-Ireland winning side in 1950. She worked in Tesco in Thurles and was a past-pupil of the Ursuline Convent secondary school. Her funeral will take place on Thursday at the Cathedral of the Assumption in the town followed by burial at St Patrick s Cemetery.

Fr Martin Hayes said prayers and sympathies were being offered to relatives and friends and appealed for them to be given privacy to grieve. Garda have appealed to anyone who may have witnessed the collision or was driving the M8 near Dogstown at the time of the crash to contact them at Thurles Garda Station on 0504 25100. A total of 124 people have died on Irish roads since the start of 2016.

References

  1. ^ Thurles (www.irishtimes.com)
  2. ^ Northern Ireland (www.irishtimes.com)

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