A Co Armagh community, left grief-stricken by an unspeakable tragedy, are once against reeling from another unimaginable loss.
Ciara McElvanna had a smile that would light up any room; her personality infectious, but today a dark cloud has dimmed the Madden community once more.
Ciara, who was just 44, was – like her good friend Patrick Grimley – an integral part of her club, but most importantly, she was a wife – and mother of four beautiful children.
For the second time in a week, chairman of the Madden club, Patrick Woods, has had to pen the most difficult of announcements.
“It is with immense sadness that we learn of the tragic passing of our esteemed club member, Ciara McElvanna,” he wrote.
“Ciara was a loving and caring wife and mummy who, along with Kevin, supported their four children in all their hobbies and interests – with many evenings spent dashing between pitches throughout the county.
“Ciara was heavily involved in our club coaching underage teams in both Football and Camogie. Ciara relished her time selling tickets and fundraising over the last year for our club development draw. She will be greatly missed within our club and community by all those who had the pleasure of knowing her.
“We offer our prayers and support to Ciara’s beloved husband Kevin, children Niamh, Claire, Dara and Aoife, parents Roisin and John, brothers Sean and Conor, sisters Cáilin, Caitriona, Séilin and Shauna, and the wider McElvanna and Haddock families.
“Our thoughts remain with all those injured in last week’s accident, and we ask you to continue to keep them all in your thoughts and prayers in the days ahead. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam.”
St Joseph’s Camogie Club, Madden, posted their own tribute to Ciara, who was “a valued member of our committee as well as being mummy to underage players Niamh, Claire and Aoife and also Dara her son”.
Paula Grimley, chairperson, wrote of Ciara: “The girl with the kindest heart who was always willing to help out in any way she could. She and her husband Kevin were avid supporters and volunteers for both St Joseph’s camogie club and Ropairì na Madáin.
“To Kevin, her precious children Niamh, Claire, Dara and Aoife, her parents Roisin and John, brothers Sean and Conor, sisters Cailin, Caitriona, Séilín and Shauna and the wider McElvanna and Haddock families, we at St. Joseph’s offer our heartfelt sympathies and prayers. Also keeping in our thoughts and prayers Ciera Grimley, wife of Patrick, as she remains in hospital.
‘You’ll never know how strong a community is until being strong is the only choice’. Ar dheis Dè go raibh a hanam.”
Ciara will be reposing at her late residence 69 Kilcreevy Road, Madden, BT60 3LY from 4pm today (Thursday) until removal on Saturday, November 11 at 10am for Requiem Mass in St. Joseph’s Church, Madden at 11am. Burial afterwards in adjoining cemetery.
Please note wake times: Thursday, 4pm until 11pm; Friday, 11am until 11pm; and on Saturday morning house private for family and close friends.
Thousands of tributes came flooding in from across the county and beyond; many of whom described Ciara as a beautiful person, inside and out.
Former colleagues of the nurse spoke of their privilege to have worked with such “a dedicated nurse”.
She was described as a “great person”, “beautiful soul” whose smile was simply incomparable.
One woman commented: “There will never be enough you could say about Ciara. She was the most beautiful person inside and out, fiercely loving of her family and friends, with a laugh that could light up any room. You will be sorely missed and forever remembered. Rest in peace.”
Another said: “I’ve never seen Ciara without a smile on her face, such a beautiful person. Thinking of and praying for the McElvanna and Haddock families at this devastating time.”
Meanwhile, the police confirmed Ciara’s passing earlier today.
A spokesperson said: “Two men and one woman (Patrick’s wife, Ciera) remain in hospital at this time receiving medical treatment.
“A full investigation into the circumstances surrounding the collision is ongoing. Officers would appeal to anyone with any information or who may have dash-cam or mobile phone footage available to contact them at the Collision Investigation Unit at Sprucefield on 101, quoting reference number 104 04/11/23.”
Patrick Grimley funeral: Mourners hear beautiful tributes from heartbroken family.
Independent Ulster Unionist councillor for the Cusher area, where the collision occurred, commented: “It is with great regret that we have sadly learned of another tragic death following the accident on the Gosford Road at the weekend.
“The whole community was stunned when Patrick Grimley tragically lost his life and the latest news of the sad passing of Ciara McElvanna is another terrible tragedy.
“Our deepest sympathy goes out to Ciara’s husband, four children and the wider family and community at this time. The loss of a mother is so sad and unbearable to think of this happening.
“Such a tragedy with the loss of Patrick and now Ciara and prayers and hearts go out to both families at this sad time of mourning. The loss of a husband, father and now a wife and mother from another family is so tragic and a terrible time for both families.
“Of course, the wider families and community in Madden have suffered a great loss of family and community focused people is also very sad given Patrick’s involvement with the local GAA club and Ciara’s involvement with the local camogie club is a devastating blow to the clubs as well. Are prayers go out to all affected by this tragedy.”
Deeply regretted by her loving husband, son, daughters, parents Roisin and John, brothers Sean and Conor, sisters
Cáilín, Caitriona, Séilín and Shauna.
Parents-in-law Frankie and Theresa, brothers-in-law Paul and Shane, sister-in-law Aideen, extended family circle and many friends.
Family flowers only, donations if desired to Clark Clinic – Children’s Heartbeat Trust or Air Ambulance NI
Funeral mass will be available to view from 6pm on Saturday, November 11, 2023 on the link below: