Donegal woman and her unborn child die after crash

The pregnant Donegal woman who died in Monday evening's fatal road crash in Co. Monaghan is to be laid to rest tomorrow after Requiem Mass at the church in Fanad where she was married less than eight months ago.

The pregnant Donegal woman who died in Monday evening's fatal road crash in Co. Monaghan is to be laid to rest tomorrow after Requiem Mass at the church in Fanad where she was married less than eight months ago.

39-year-old Roisin Connolly, who was five months pregnant died on Monday morning in our Lady Of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda after being critically injured in the three-car collision on the N2 two miles outside Carrickmacross.

She was one of three people to lose their lives in the accident.

The victim was originally from Balloor in Fanad and was born Roisin Lanagan. Mrs Connolly, a teacher who lived in Drumcondra in Dublin, had been had been returning from a visit to Fanad with her husband when the accident occurred. Her unborn child, named Catherine, died a short time later despite efforts by medical staff at the hospital to save her. The remains are to be brought to Donegal today for burial in Fanavolty tomorrow.

Mrs Connolly had been visiting her mother Catherine who lives in Balloor and had been planning to return to Donegal on Tuesday for the remainder of her Christmas holidays.

She was travelling in a Seat Toledo driven by her 32-year-old husband, Stephen, which was in collision with a BMW travelling in the opposite direction. Her husband, who is a son of former Laois-Offaly TD Ger, is in a stable condition in hospital.

The teacher was a frequent visitor to Fanad and has a large family circle in the peninsula and in Kilmacrenan. Her father Vincent died 17 years ago and she has one sister, Eileen, who lives in Cork.

Mrs Connolly was married in April in St, Mary's Church in Fanavolty where her Requiem Mass will be held tomorrow. She was brought up in Fanad where she went to Doaghbeg National School before attending Loretto College in Milford. She moved to Britain in the 1980s where she attended teacher training college and she represented Manchester in the Mary from Dungloe festival in 1989.

Two passengers in the BMW, 28-year-old Glen Curties of Nobber, Co. Meath and 27-year-old Paul Carroll of Kingscourt, Co. Cavan, were killed instantly in the collision.

A man in his 40s and a woman in her 30s were in an Opel Vectra with their two-year-old son and 13 month-old daughter which was also involved in the accident. The couple escaped serious injury while the children were released from hospital.

The death of Mrs Connolly marks the end of a bad year for road tragedies in the Fanad peninsula. Teacher Marie O'Donnell (51) from Portsalon died in a two-car collision in Milford in August.

In June rally co-driver Thomas Maguire from Longwood in County Meath died when his car went off the road at Knockalla during the Donegal International Rally.

In May PJ Crerand (19), from Milford, and Seamus McBride (25), from Carrigart, died in a two-car collision on the Harry Blaney bridge.

Local councillor Liam Blaney said the tragedy has been felt in the community.

"It is an awful tragedy at any time of the year, but especially at this time of year. She had only been recently married and was expecting a baby and it is devastating for the family," he commented.

"You hear of an accident in Carrickmacross and then you hear there is a connection with Fanad - that brings the whole thing home to you."