Two Fingal families in mourning as man, woman die in road accidents

by Gary Ibbotson

Two Fingal families have been plunged into grief following road tragedies in Rush and Dubai which claimed the lives of loved ones.

Oldtown native John Byrne (39) died after he was hit by a car while crossing the Whitestown Road in Rush at lunchtime on Friday.

Less than 24 hours earlier, Balbriggan teacher Fiona Geraghty (27) died after the bus she was travelling on reportedly hit an overhead sign in Dubai.

John had Down syndrome and attended the Prosper Fingal centre for people with disabilities in Rush daily. He was also a popular member of Remember Us.

His parents, Tom and Barbara, and his siblings, Daire and Aine, decided to donate his organs after his passing.

His heartbroken dad Tom said: “As my wife Barbara said to me, ‘If John is alive in other people, he is not dead at all’. John was very healthy.

“He didn’t smoke or drink, so he ticked all the boxes when it came to organ donation.

“Although he was 39, he was only five feet tall and weighed less than eight stone. To us, he was our boy, he was our pal. He was a very sociable lad and loved the discos and meeting people.”

Social media was flooded with tributes for John in the aftermath of the tragedy with Fingal Ravens GFC among the clubs to honour his memory.

A book of condolences has been opened in Prosper Fingal, Rush for anyone who wishes to sign it.

Remember Us posted: “It is with great sadness that we inform you of the death of our beloved Cool Rocker member John Byrne … John will be greatly missed by everyone, especially his friends here in Remember Us.”

Gardai are reviewing CCTV which captured images of Friday’s incident. They have appealed for witnesses to contact Balbriggan garda station at 01 666 4500.

Fiona’s family flew to Dubai last Friday after receiving the devastating news that she was one of 17 people killed in a bus smash on Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed road.

The popular teacher from Hampton Cove in Balbriggan was the daughter of Christopher and Mary Geraghty and sister to David and Robert, who announced her death online “with broken hearts”.

Posting on Facebook, David wrote: “Today is the saddest day of my life. I lost my sister Fiona in a bus accident in Dubai last night.

“She will be forever in my memory and in my heart as she was loved deeply.”

Fiona, a past pupil of Loreto School in Balbriggan, was a popular teacher at St Mologa’s SNS who had been taking a year-long break in Dubai.

Her boyfriend was injured in the crash.

She was recalled in a message circulated to parents by St Mologa’s as “an enthusiastic, energetic teacher who always got the best from her students … lively but calm, strong but gentle … and loved by staff and pupils alike”.

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