An Irish woman who died in a car crash just a day after giving birth to her daughter was laid to rest earlier today.
Nicola Kenny, 26, from Thurles, Co. Tipperary was traveling to Dublin on Monday to visit her newborn baby when she pulled into the hard shoulder on the motorway to take a phone call from the hospital. A lorry ploughed into the back of the car parked along the M8 killing Nicola and critically injuring her mother Ann and aunt Irene Whelan who were also in the car.
Her daughter Lily Rose was born the previous day but had been rushed to Temple Street Children's Hospital in Dublin when she developed a temperature. Just moments before the accident, it is believed Nicola was told that the trip to Dublin was not needed as her daughter’s condition had improved and she was to be transferred back to South Tipperary.
The young mother’s funeral was held today in the Cathedral of the Assumption, Thurles, where Father Vincent Stapleton told the hundreds in attendance how her passing “has left a cloud hanging over us and none more so than her loving family and many friends, neighbours and work colleagues”.
He added that what happened was “made so much worse by the knowledge that Nicola was just days into motherhood and she had just heard good news about baby Lily Rose when her own life came to an end”.
Fr. Stapleton also offered prayers for her newborn daughter. “We pray for Lily Rose now and ask Nicola and God’s guardian angel to continue to watch over her from heaven,” he said.
During the funeral a pair of Minnie Mouse ears were brought to the altar to symbolize the young mother’s love of everything Disney, along with a CD, sneakers, and a framed photo of Nicola with her friends.
Kenny was a grandchild of Tipperary hurling legend Paddy Kenny, who won three All-Irelands in a row between 1949 and 1951. The family were earlier presented with a signed jersey from the All-Ireland winning hurling team, who were celebrating their success throughout the county on Monday when the tragic accident occurred. The jersey was draped over the coffin as it was brought to the Cathedral.
Due to trauma from the accident, Nicola’s mother Ann was unable to attend when her remains were brought to the church on Wednesday evening, and it was with the aid of a wheelchair that she came to lay her only daughter to rest today, accompanied by her husband Patrick and their son Patrick Jr.
Nicola’s aunt, who was driving the car, remains in hospital due to injuries sustained during the accident. She is believed to be in a critical condition at the intensive care unit at University Hospital Limerick.