The late Mairead D'Arcy, affectionately known as 'Maud'.

Raceway Secretary laid to rest following race crash

MOVING tributes have been paid to Mairead D’Arcy, the motorsport driver who died following an accident at The Pike near Dungarvan last week.

Mairead (30), from Ballyvooney, Stradbally, died while competing in a Waterford Raceway ladies race event on St Stephen’s Day.

After reposing at her residence last Thursday December 29th, her Funeral Mass took place on Friday last, December 30th at 11am in The Holy Cross Church, Stradbally with burial afterwards in the adjoining cemetery.

Members of Waterford Raceway, of which Mairead was secretary, formed a guard of honour as her coffin was carried into the church.

Many of those in attendance carried items such as helmets and steering wheels in Mairead’s memory.

On behalf of the D’Arcy family, Waterford Raceway had also asked those attending the funeral to wear something bright in honour of Mairead’s “bright and beautiful self”.

“She was the life and soul of the club.”

Holy Cross Church, where Mairead was a regular reader, was full to capacity with many more mourners gathered outside in what was one of the largest funerals to ever take place in the village.

Stradbally’s Parish Priest, Father Gerry Condon, paid tribute to Mairead, who was a member of the Parish Pastoral Council.

She served as the Council’s joint treasurer and was a child safeguarding representative for the parish within the diocese.

Fr Condon said an ‘air of gloom’ had hung over the parish since news of Mairead’s death had emerged.

The late Mairead D'Arcy, pictured prior to Christmas in a photo which featured on her Requiem Mass Booklet.

The late Mairead D'Arcy, pictured prior to Christmas in a photo which featured on her Requiem Mass Booklet.

He said that Saint Stephen’s Day 2016 would always be remembered within the parish for all the wrong reasons.

Mairead (known affectionately to many as ‘Maud’) had opened ‘Maud’s Little Learners’ in Stradbally earlier this year.

Through her work at ‘Maud’s Little Learners’, Fr Condon said Mairead had imparted important gifts and skills to many children which they would forever cherish.

He spoke of the importance of faith in Mairead’s life and fondly recalled her cheery disposition.

He said she was an integral part of the local community and would be sadly missed by all who knew her.

In another moving tribute, her brother John outlined Mairead’s varied interests and many loves which included socialising, walking her dog, and motorsport.

He said Mairead thoroughly enjoyed competing in motorsport events and died doing what she loved.

As Mairead was brought to her final resting place, her friends from ‘Maud’s Little Learners’ released balloons into the sky in her memory while Tina Turner’s ‘Simply the Best’ rang out.

She is survived by her parents Ray and Anne, sister Triona, brothers John and Raymond, brother-in-law Ambrose, uncles, aunts and a wide circle of friends.

Waterford Raceway paid tribute to Mairead in a Facebook post, saying: “Mairead loved motorsport and lived for each and every race day. She was the life and soul of the club, always smiling, always bubbly, so kind and forever beautiful. Mairead has been taken from us too soon and no words can describe how much we will miss her. She may have driven her final race with us but #368 Mairead D’Arcy will never be forgotten. Our deepest sympathies to her family Ray, Anne, John, Raymond Triona, Ambrose and her extended family and many, many friends that she leaves behind.”

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