Northern Ireland news

Road death teacher had "massive personality and warmth"

Teacher, Dawn Croke died in a road traffic accident in Dungloe, County Donegal.
Seamus McKinney

The deputy speaker of Dáil Éireann has led tributes to a young County Donegal school teacher who has been killed in a road accident.

Dawn Croke, who was in her 30s, died when she was struck by a car in Dungloe on Thursday evening. A six-year-old girl, who was also involved in the accident, is in a serious condition at Letterkenny University Hospital. A Gardai spokesman said the accident occurred around 6.30pm at Chapel Road in the west Donegal town.

A mother-of-two sons, Ms Croke was a PE and resource teacher at Rosses' Community School in Dungloe, where her father, Tony also taught.

Leas Cheann Comhairle (deputy speaker) in the Dáil, Pat the Cope Gallagher said Ms Croke was an exceptionally gifted person with a “massive personality and warmth.”

Mr Gallagher, Fianna Fáil TD for Donegal, said he knew Ms Croke well and had facilitated a student visit led by her to the Irish parliament just last month.

The Donegal politician said that after visiting Leinster House, Ms Croke took her pupils to visit a homeless centre in Dublin where they presented a cheque for €1,000 (£893) to the charity.

“She was dearly loved by her students and her work colleagues all of whom are devastated at the news of her untimely death,” he said.

Mr Gallagher said the “freak and tragic” accident had caused a deep sense of shock.

“The cloud of sadness is even greater when it has taken the life of one that had contributed so much to our community and that was so widely loved and respected by all those who knew her and worked with her,” he said.

A spokesman for Rosses' Community School said Ms Croke was a “wonderful teacher.” He said the victim's family had many close links with the school.

“We, the school community, remember with love and fondness our colleague Dawn,” he said.

The school will remain closed on Monday for Ms Croke's funeral.

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