Inquest held into Donegal nurse’s tragic death

An inquest has heard that a nurse who was home from Australia died in a tragic accident when she was on her way to a morning appointment with her hairdresser.

26-year-old Deirdre Burke lost control of her car and was in a dreadful head-on collision with a car carrying two sisters who were seriously injured, the inquest heard yesterday.

South Donegal coroner Dr Diarmuid Hegarty was told that Deirdre, whose family live at Letterbarrow, near Donegal town, was on her way to nearby Laghey for a hairdressing appointment after she dropped her mother off at work.

Catherine Lyons, a Sligo-based waste company representative, told how she pulled in her car to talk on her hands-free mobile phone when saw a car lose control on the wet road, veer over and back and collide head-on with another car, a Mitsubishi Colt, and then hit a fence post.

The Mitsubishi owner, Elaine McGonigle, told how she was travelling to work with her sister, Lindsey, to a glass design business they both ran in the Donegal town craft village, when a car came towards them and appeared to be out of control just before the collision.

The inquest heard that Deirdre Burke died instantly in the collision last July 18 on the Laghey Road three kilometres from Donegal town.

Sisters Elaine and Lindsey McGonigle suffered severe injuries and were treated in Letterkenny General Hospital.

The coroner noted they were making good recovery from their “extremely severe” injuries.

The jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence that Deirdre, who was on holiday from her nursing job near Adelaide, died from multiple injuries.