Death was inevitable

Some of the bouquets at teh scene of the fatal accident in the Bogside.  (1503JB95)
Some of the bouquets at teh scene of the fatal accident in the Bogside. (1503JB95)

The death of Derry granny Pat Duffy who was knocked down in the Bogside at the weekend, was an “accident waiting to happen,” local residents’ groups have claimed.

Local MLA Pat Ramsey, a family friend of Mrs Duffy says the Derry pensioner often worried about crossing the road where she was killed on Saturday morning.

And yesterday he met with the Roads Minister Conor Murphy who pledged to re-examine road safety in the Bogside area.

“Pat’s greatest worry and fear in life was crossing that road, something she had to do almost every day of her life,” said Mr Ramsey.

“People in this area need access and should be able to cross the road in safety. The family do not want to see another life lost on this road.”

Tony Doherty of the Health Forum said: “The tragic death of Pat Duffy is the latest in a number of fatalities and serious injuries that have occurred at these crossings.

“They are simply not safe for pedestrians trying to cross two dual carriageways and are indeed a hazard.

“Many local residents have had near misses as drivers on either side of road often do not realise that there are people trying to cross. You often see pedestrians in the centre of the crossing with cars passing them by. This situation has to stop and safety improvements have to be made as a matter of urgency.

Mrs Duffy’s grief stricken daughter Maria Harkin said she had lost her mother - and also her best friend.

“She was our rock,” she said.

“They had just brought in 8 o’clock Mass for Lent at the Long Tower but a Saturday was the only day it wasn’t on so, that’s why she was at ten o’clock Mass.

“I just don’t know what we are going to do without her. She was everything.

“She was the one that kept in contact with everybody and held the family together. With all our relatives in England and America and Canada, she was the one who always kept in touch and the centre of everything.”

A note left with flowers at the scene of the accident from her grand-daughter Sarah-Louise read: “It’s unreal how much we are all missing you. You left without saying goodbye. You had so much more to live for and so many things ahead of you. I love you so much.”

The funeral Mass will be held at 10am on Thursday in the Long Tower church.