Belfast Telegraph

Son's moving tribute to retired teacher killed in Armagh crash

A service will also be held this Friday at St Mary's Church in Irvine (stock photo)
A service will also be held this Friday at St Mary's Church in Irvine (stock photo)
Allan Preston

By Allan Preston

The family of a retired teacher from Scotland who died in a crash in Co Armagh this month have paid tribute to a "kind-hearted person who always made time for people".

Maureen Duffy (71) died on Sunday, July 14, following a crash near her home in Loughgall.

Although born in Glasgow, she had family roots in Northern Ireland and moved here after raising her family and teaching English for more than 20 years at a school in Irvine.

A family notice said she was the dearly loved wife of the late Brendan and mother to Siobhan and Ciaran, as well as grandmother to Maisy and Molly.

Her son Ciaran (41) told the Irvine Times the family were "devastated" by the loss, but thankful they had enjoyed a recent holiday together.

"We are shattered. Both Siobhan and I went to see her and she just looked beautiful. Just like she was sleeping," he said.

"We don't know exactly what happened with the collision, the police are still investigating it, so it will be a while before we know the exact details.

"It's just been a huge shock. Hard to put into words.

"Siobhan had to come to my work to tell me mum had died, which was totally devastating.

"The only saving grace is that both Siobhan and I had just been over to Ireland to see her with our kids and we had spent some really quality time together and I am so glad we did. It was a lovely time we all had together."

The grandmother of two had taught at Greenwood Academy in Irvine for more than two decades before she moved to teach additional support needs in Auchenharvie Academy in Stevenston for the last five years of her career.

Her son added his mother had always been a constant source of support.

"The thing I'm going to miss more than anything is that she was always there for us," he said.

"She would be the person who I would have gone to, to help me deal with something like this.

"She always had a solution.

"But now she's gone.

"I think others who knew her will remember her as a kind-hearted person who always made time for people." Mrs Duffy was cremated at Roselawn Crematorium following Requiem Mass at St Peter's Church in Collegeland.

Her children are bringing her ashes home to Irvine to bury in Knadgerhill Cemetery beside her husband, who died six years ago.

A service will also be held this Friday at St Mary's Church in Irvine. Family flowers only have been requested with any donations, if desired, to Air Ambulance Northern Ireland c/o of the family.

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