A teacher has been killed in a car crash while driving home from a friend’s 25th wedding anniversary party.
Marie O'Donnell (51) was driving on the Milford to Kilmacrennan Road in Co Donegal with her husband John (50) shortly after 2am yesterday when her Nissan Micra was involved in a collision with a Honda Civic.
Mrs O'Donnell was declared dead at the scene, while her husband remains in a critical condition at Letterkenny General Hospital.
The occupants of the Honda were a young couple in their 20s and are also being treated at the Letterkenny hospital. Their injuries are not thought to be life- threatening.
John McAteer, who knew Mrs O'Donnell, said she will be sadly missed by the entire community and surrounding area.
He said: “Marie was a lovely woman and I know it might sound like a cliche, but she really was dearly loved by all and she will be sorely missed.
“She was always smiling. She taught at the Drumfad National School, which serves the Church of Ireland and Presbyterian community in this part of Donegal, and will be a big loss to every one of those 30 pupils.
“I remember the day the school was reopened by the Duchess of Abercorn and she was so proud of the school and of the children.
“As far as we know, John and Marie had been at a 25th wedding anniversary party at The Lagoon in Termon and were on their way home to Knockbrack.
“John has an engineering business in Milford and he would be well-known locally too.
“It's a big shock for everyone around and a big blow for their sons George and Jonathan.
Meanwhile, in Inishowen the families of the eight people killed in what has been described as the Republic’s worst road accident are attending Month's Mind Masses in Buncrana, Fanad and Clonmany.
The only survivor of the two-car collision remains in hospital but is expected to recover.