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Tributes to ‘kind and caring’ Ciera Grimley as police confirm two people remain in hospital

Ciera Grimley

Tributes have been paid to Madden woman, Ciera Grimley, who is being remembered as a “kind and caring” woman who meant so much to so many people.

Ciera’s passing was confirmed on Saturday evening, seven days after a collision near Markethill which also claimed the life of her husband, Patrick, and her friend Ciara McElvanna.

Two other people remain in hospital, police confirmed on Sunday afternoon.

All three who have died had been travelling in a taxi minibus, returning from Dundalk, where a 40th birthday celebration for Patrick ended in untold tragedy.

Patrick was laid to rest on Wednesday, while the well-attended funeral for Ciara McElvanna (44) took place on Saturday.

That evening, as news of the loss of Ciera Grimley – the third to have died as a result of the early morning, four vehicle collision – was confirmed, there was once again a sense of tangible grief and disbelief.

The community is now once again planning for a funeral for a much-loved and highly-admired young woman taken far too soon from her family and friends.

Presently, funeral details have yet to be announced.

The mother-of-three, who was in her 40s, was a registered childminder and had also worked in recent times at St Patrick’s Primary School in Armagh.

She had been a classroom assistant during the 2021-2022 school year and, while her time there may have been brief, she certainly made an impact on those with whom she worked.

The school expressed its “deep sadness” at learning of the news.

And, in a tribute to Ciera, who had lived at Kilcreevy Road, Madden, it added: “Her kind nature and caring instincts were on show each and every day that she worked in our school, quickly establishing a strong bond with her colleagues and the pupils she was helping.

“Ciera was always able to find the right words to comfort children when they needed it, and to encourage growth and development in their learning and their play. Her love for helping and nurturing children was evident in her approach to her role in St Patrick’s, and Ciera left a lasting impression on those who worked closest with her.

“Ciera’s family circle has close connections with St. Patrick’s, with her nieces, nephew and cousins attending both currently and in the past.

“At this time, we offer our sincerest condolences to the Grimley and Geraghty families, and indeed the wider community of Madden, including our friends in St. Joseph’s Primary School Madden and Madden Raparees GAC, and the McElvanna and Haddock families, all of whom will have been affected by untold grief in such tragic circumstances.

“We pray for Ciera’s immediate family, particularly her children, Tagdh, Mya and Cadhla, and ask that God’s light and love will shine upon them, guiding and protecting them in the months and years to come. We hope that her children know that they made both her and their father, Patrick, immeasurably proud in all that they did.

“We pray that in this time of loss, they’ll feel God’s love much more, and that they’ll find their comfort in the presence of the Lord. We pray God pours upon them His sweet, amazing grace, and overflows their hearts with peace as they live in His embrace.

“Eternal rest grant unto Ciera, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May she Rest in Peace.”

Madden Raparees GFC has once again paid its own tribute, describing Ciera Grimley as a “club member and friend”.

Her husband, Patrick, had been the secretary of the rural club and its chairperson, Paddy Woods, once more spoke on behalf of Madden Raparees in offering condolences and remembering fondly one of its own.

Said Mr Woods: “Ciera was a loving, caring and supportive wife to Patrick RIP, and a devoted mummy to Tadhg, Mya and Cadhla.

“Ciera, along with Patrick, spent many evenings supporting their children in their many hobbies and activities. Their passion for the GAA seen them follow Club and County throughout Ireland, creating precious memories in the process.

“We offer our prayers at this particularly sad time for her children Tadhg, Mya and Cadhla, parents Eugene and Bridie, brother Paul, sisters Donna, Sarah-Jane and Julie, and the wider Geraghty and Grimley families.

“Our thoughts remain with all those within our community recovering at this time. Also, for all those impacted by recent events, can we ask you to continue to keep them in your thoughts and prayers in the days, weeks and months ahead. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam.”

Ciera had a great love of dance and was involved in a number of local clubs where she shared that love with others – an outlet which also helped forge some brilliant friendships. She endeared herselves to so many people and, again, will never be forgotten.

One friend wrote: “Just lost such an amazing woman who never failed to make me laugh or smile. Will miss you every day. Thanks for all the fun memories of all the days out with the dance mums we had together, they won’t be the same without you.

“My heart goes out to the whole family and her three amazing children. Together again with Patrick, looking down on us all. We love you Ciera.”

Newry-based dance teacher, Niamh Murphy, also told of Ciera’s “dedication” in traveling to the County Down class every week.

Describing her as a “beautiful past student and dancer”, she said: “Thank you for being you and having the pleasure of knowing you.”

Newry and Armagh MLA Cathal Boylan also expressed “great sadness” and added: “I extend my deepest condolences and prayers to the family and friends of Ciera and Patrick Grimley and their entire family circle and to the McElvanna and Haddock families following the tragic events of this past week. Suaimhneas síoraí orthu. Rest in Peace.”

Police, meanwhile, are continuing to appeal for witnesses.

DS McIvor said: “A full investigation into the circumstances surrounding the collision is ongoing, and officers are asking anyone who witnessed it to get in touch.

“I would appeal to anyone with any information, or who may have dash-cam or mobile phone footage available, to contact us at the Collision Investigation Unit at Sprucefield on 101, quoting reference number 104 04/11/23.”

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