By Michelle Crean and Sean Moriarty
The devastated family of Joanne Downey, who died following a tragic accident near the Cleeney Roundabout, this week paid tribute to their loving mom – who they said “gave so much” to others.
The popular Ballydribben woman, who is originally from Knocknagoshel, was struck by a lorry at around 9am on Friday last. Emergency services rushed to the scene and she was rushed to Cork University Hospital but sadly passed away on Sunday.
The road was closed until late Friday afternoon to allow Killarney Gardai forensically examine the scene and investigating officers are seeking witnesses to the incident.
Her son Chris this week told the Killarney Advertiser that they are “heartbroken” and miss her “terribly”.
“We are heartbroken at the loss of our mom,” Chris said.
“As I said at the funeral, she was a woman who gave so much, and never asked for anything in return. There is a huge hole in our lives without mom and we will miss her terribly.”
Joanne loved her children dearly and did whatever she could to make them happy. She also loved her club Killarney Legion and made life-long friends there, friends that turned out in droves on Wednesday in Dirreen to applaud her commitment to the club.
“She loved caring for others and was so proud to qualify as a care worker last year. Mom went back to work at the age of 50, it was probably the only thing she ever did for herself and we were all so proud of her achievement. Putting on the care uniform gave her so much pride, joy and independence,” he said.
“She was a strong women, she didn’t always have it easy but she managed, raising six children pretty much single handed. I think she did a fairly good job. She raised us to look out for one another and I think if she was looking down on us the past few days she would be very proud of us all, in particular Shane and Cassie who were right by her side all week until she was finally laid to rest on Wednesday.”
He explained that his mom loved Killarney town, the sense of community here, and was always happy to get involved with different committees.
“Mom wouldn’t pass someone without stoping for a chat.”
Killarney Legion also paid tribute to Joanne this week.
“The club was devastated beyond words to hear of the very sad tragic passing of Joanne Downey early this week,” said club PRO Elaine O’Donoghue.
“Behind every club there are good women who work quietly and effectively for the good of the club, Joanne was one of these. Her loss will be immeasurable to the Legion Club. She will always be remembered within the club for her selfless work and kind heart. A true lady, family woman and Legion legend.”
She is survived by her father Joseph, children Mark, Chris, Katriana, Ellie, Shane and Cassie, and granddaughter Éabha.
She was laid to rest on Wednesday in Aghadoe Lawn Cemetery following Requiem Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral.
Meanwhile Killarney Gardai yesterday (Thursday) renewed their appeal for witnesses to the accident to come forward.
“It was at a busy time as people were going to work,” Superintendent Flor Murphy told the Killarney Advertiser. “We thank the people who have already come forward but there are many more who may have seen something – it is a busy junction and there are shops and other services nearby.”