Mother and daughters killed in Co. Mayo collision to be laid to rest this week

Mother and daughters killed in Co. Mayo collision to be laid to rest this week

A MOTHER and her two young daughters who died in a collision in Co. Mayo on Tuesday are to be laid to rest this week.

Una Bowden, 47, Ciara Bowden, 14, and nine-year-old Saoirse Bowden were killed when their car was involved in a collision with a lorry on the N17 in Castlegar, outside Claremorris.

Mrs Bowden's husband and the girls' father, David Bowden, is believed to have been working abroad when the tragedy occurred.

The family lived in Moycullen, Co. Galway, however, Mrs Bowden and her daughters are due to be laid to rest in her native Co. Donegal.

A funeral procession will leave the home of Mrs Bowden's father in Miltown, Raphoe at 11am on Wednesday, April 3, and make its way to St Eunan's Church in Raphoe for a noon service.

Burial will take place afterwards at the Old Graveyard in Convoy.

'Unthinkable loss'

Earlier this week, Bishop of Galway Fr Michael Duignan offered his condolences to the family and friends of the Bowdens.

"My thoughts and prayers, and indeed the thoughts and prayers of the whole Diocese of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora go out to David Bowden and extended family and friends at this terrible time of unthinkable loss," he said.

"Words mean little and can sound hollow. We are thinking of you and praying for you all.

"We hope that somehow you will find the strength to live through this terrible hour.

"We think and pray for Una, Ciara and Saoirse also. May the Lord enfold them in his eternal safekeeping."

His words were echoed by Mayor of Galway Eddie Hoare.

"My thoughts and prayers are with the Bowden family who tragically lost their lives this week," he posted on Thursday.

"Thinking of their husband and Dad at this very difficult time.

"Also thinking of the other driver involved in this tragic accident.

"May Una, Ciara & Saoirse rest in peace."

'Beautiful family'

Tributes have flowed in for Una, Ciara and Saoirse, who were actively involved in various sports including Gaelic games, rugby and basketball.

Ciara was a member of Moycullen Basketball Club's U14 squad, while Saoirse played for Corrib BC, where her mother was previously club secretary.

In a statement, the sport’s national governing body paid tribute to the Bowdens.

"Basketball Ireland wish to extend our deepest condolences to the family, friends, teammates and the community of Moycullen following the tragic deaths of Ciara, Saoirse and Una Bowden," read the statement.

"Ciara was selected to Basketball Ireland's West Academy Programme earlier this year, as well as the Galway Area girls u14 team and her own Cumann Cispheile Mhaigh Cuilinn.

"Our thoughts and support are with all those who knew them at this time.

"Ar dheis Dé go raibh a h'anam dílís."

The Wild Geese, an Irish society in Zambia with which the family were previously involved, described the Bowdens as 'a truly beautiful family'.

"It is with great sadness that we share the news of the loss of a family from The Wild Geese community," read a statement on social media.

"Una Bowden and her daughters Ciara and Saoirse were tragically killed in a road accident in Co Mayo on Tuesday afternoon.

"They have been survived by husband and father David Bowden.

"A truly beautiful family who were a vibrant part of the Irish community here in Lusaka before they relocated back to Ireland at the beginning of 2019.

"We send our deepest condolences to the whole family. Our thoughts, love and prayers are with you David."