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TEARS FOR TEACHER KILLED IN ICE CRASH; Catriona's two teenage daughters hurt after her car leaves the road.

Byline: GARRETH MacNAMEE , COLIN BRENNAN and ADELINA CAMPOS

A BELOVED mother was killed in a horrific road smash yesterday when her car hit black ice.

Catriona Dowling, 50, died after her vehicle left the road at 9am on the Ballyduff to Tralee road.

Emergency services were scrambled to the scene at Ballincosig Cross, Lixnaw, Co Kerry, but they could not save her.

Ms Dowling's two teenage daughters were in the car at the time and were both injured in the devastating incident.

They were being treated last night at Tralee General Hospital where one sister's condition was described as "serious".

The mum of three was a popular German teacher at Presentation College in Tralee and taught German debating as an extra-curricular activity.

She had taught at the school for most of her professional career and her two daughters are in fifth and sixth year.

It is understood Ms Dowling was originally from Dublin but had been living with her family in Ballyduff, Co Kerry, for several years.

Last night tributes poured in for the popular teacher who friends said was loved by everyone she knew.

Olive Sharp wrote on Facebook: "I have tears in my eyes posting this but I'm sure you all would want to know.

"There was a woman killed this morning on the Ballyduff road when her car hit black ice and left the road. It was our old German teacher Miss Catriona Boyle."

Caroline Bulman posted: "Devastating news. Such a lovely lady and a wonderful teacher. Very sad day for her family and all her pupils and past pupils. May she rest in peace."

Imelda Roche added: "So sad! She was one of my favourite teachers."

And Mary Devane wrote: "What a tragedy. Such an amazing teacher and a wonderful person. My thoughts and prayers are with her family. Rest in peace."

The small community was in shock yesterday as it came to terms with the devastating loss.

Fr Brendan Walsh of the Ballyduff/ Causeway parish described Ms Dowling as a "wonderful person, neighbour, teacher and mum".

He said: "She was a church reader and a lovely person. She had always been interested in languages and she loved teaching."

A funeral Mass will take place in Ballyduff in the coming days.

Fianna Fail councillor John Brassil said yesterday morning's tragedy was "devastating".

He told how the roads didn't seem too perilous at the time for drivers but said there may have been a presence of black ice.

Mr Brassil added: "It's a tragedy. It wasn't particularly cold this morning.

"There's been skids and a few crashes but it didn't seem very dangerous.

"I drove to work not knowing there was ice. You wouldn't be prepared going oh out thinking it was there but there may have been black ice."

Fianna Fail councillor Jimmy Moloney said: "It's a tragedy for this time of year.

"The main roads had been gritted but it wouldn't be a main road where the accident happened."

A memorial will be held for the devoted mum at her school today.

A text message sent yesterday to parents of Ms Dowling's pupils read: "The school has learned of the sudden and tragic death of our much-loved colleague and teacher oho Mrs. Catriona Dowling R.I.P. "The school will be open on Sunday from 2pm to 4pm for members of staff and students who may wish to gather.

"When school opens at 9am on Monday support structures will be in place for students.

"Your prayers for Catriona's family and the school community would be most appreciated at this sad time."

Road surfaces were extremely dangerous yesterday morning as ice and frost gripped all four provinces.

The Road Safety Association warned motorists to be careful tomorrow as temperatures are set to plunge again to below freezing.

news@irishmirror.ie

"She was a lovely person who loved teaching & languages FR BRENDAN WALSH ON YESTERDAY'S TRAGEDY

CAPTION(S):

Tragic: gardai examine the scene in Kerry yesterday

Tributes: Catriona Dowling was loved by pupils and staff

Response: traffic cops seal off the Ballyduff to Tralee road
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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Dec 14, 2014
Words:678
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