THE community of Rathdowney were united in grief last week at the tragic death of local woman Angela Keneally, (nee Hickey), in a horrific car crash near Kilkenny, which also claimed the life of her husband, Tom.
Mr Kenneally died at the scene, while his wife was taken to St Luke’s Hospital in Kilkenny, where she died a short while later. Their daughter, Emma, who is a teacher in Our Lady’s Meadow National school in Durrow, was also injured in the collision. She is believed to have suffered two broken legs and a broken hip and is undergoing a series of operations.
The two car collision happened last Wednesday, August 24, at Troyswood on the Kilkenny to Freshford Road when the couple were returning to their home in Barnane, just outside Templemore.
Two people in the second car involved in the crash were also brought to St Luke’s Hospital, but their injuries are believed not to be life-threatening.
A minute’s silence was held in memory of the couple in O’Moore Park last Friday evening before Rathdowney/Errill’s senior championship match.
Many people from Rathdowney travelled to Barnane last weekend for the funeral. Players and officials from Rathdowney/Errill GAA, where Mrs Keneally’s brother, Tom has been a lifelong member, also attended to show their support. He served as chairman and secretary of the Rathdowney GAA club and is still an active member to this day.
Club chairman Justin Kavanagh expressed his sympathies to the Hickey family.
“The Hickey family are a very well respected family in Rathdowney and we would like to express our deepest sympathies to them on the death of Angela and her husband Tom,” he said.
Local Councillor John King said he knew Mrs Keneally very well and was very upset when he heard the news.
“The Hickey family are held in very high esteem and are well thought of around the Rathdowney area. Angela and her husband regularly visited her mother who still resides in Rathdowney. It’s a tremendous loss for their children and it has caused tremendous shock to the area,” he said.
Cllr King said his thoughts were with the family and particularly, their daughter Emma,
“Their daughter was driving the car and she will have to get her own health back on track while dealing with the death of her parents. It’s a terrible tragedy. We should also spare a thought for the driver of the other car,” he said.
The Rathdowney councillor said hundreds of people turned out for the funerals over the weekend, including many from the Rathdowney area.
Mr Kenneally was born in Barnane and was well-known in the area and in his wife’s home town of Rathdowney. Mrs Keneally was a teacher at Drom National School until her recent retirement.
The Kenneallys are survived by their six children Mary, John, Emma, Patrick, Rosanna and Kristina, Angela’s mother Margaret, brothers and sisters Tommy, Rita, Maura, Anne, Michael, Donal and Brdiget and extended family.