Darren’s Diary – Kicking The Habit (Day 32) – Friday, 23rd March

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Sometimes, life just allows something happen that beggars’ belief and puts you into a temporary shock as you try to process whey such an event occurred. 

Even if you’re not from Ballinasloe, you will have heard about the tragic car accident that happened yesterday evening taking the lives of two pedestrians who were well known and popular locally.

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I’ve just written a statement on behalf of Ballinasloe Chess Club and want to do the same again, offering my own personal condolences to the families of Maureen Dooley and Deirdre Kilmartin whose lives were cut too short yesterday.

It’s just impossible to get your head around it.  Two women out for a walk, friends catching up and through an incident not involving them, a two-car collision takes their lives and leaves their families and young children without a mother.

I knew both women.  Maureen’s son Odhran played chess for our club for many years and was part of the Garbally College team that won the Connacht Senior Cup in rugby just last Tuesday.

Maureen was a loyal supporter of anything her children were involved with and she was extremely good to our club when Odhran was playing.  Indeed, only three years ago, Odhran would have been preparing to compete for county glory with us.  We’ll be thinking about them tonight.

While I wouldn’t have known Deirdre as well as Maureen, I did know her and she often offered advice regarding pet treatments (dogs and worms being the extent of my enquiries).  But I did go to school with her brother Kevin, a prominent soccer player in town and a good person.  Am thinking about him as well and all members of the respective Dooley, Kilmartin and Flanagan families.

Today’s column should be about looking forward to tonight as we’ve four teams going for glory.  As the time gets closer, we will focus on the task at hand and I hope to be giving good news tomorrow in either chess, draughts or camogie.

But there are times where you just realise that sport is a pastime to be enjoyed.  There’s always another day when things don’t go the way you planned.  But nothing can replace family or the loss of someone so close.

As you can guess, it just doesn’t feel right writing a diary tonight so I am going to wrap up.  We’ve Dunmore for the chess and draughts tonight, and Clones tomorrow for the camogie.  Looking forward to all that and we’ll chat more tomorrow.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anamacha

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