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28th Mar 2024

‘We loved you and we miss you’ – heartbreaking tributes paid to mum and daughters killed in Mayo crash



“Heartbreaking to lose such a fabulous family”

Tributes have flooded in as the mother and two daughters who were killed in a road crash in Mayo have been named.

Una Carlin Bowden (47) and daughters Ciara (14) and Saoirse (10) were killed on Tuesday, March 26, when their vehicle struck a lorry on a section of the N17 between Knock and Claremorris.

The family had lived in Gortachalla, Moycullen, Co Galway, for several years and the girls attended school locally.

Ms Carlin Bowden’s husband works abroad with the UN and was expected to travel back in Ireland last night after being informed of the tragic news.

Both Saoirse and Ciara were former members of Oughterard Rugby Club, with PRO Julie Ann Brown saying the club and wider community were “devastated” to hear the news.

“The Bowdens were very active in many sports, both in Maigh Cuilinn and in Oughterard, so it’s such a tragedy for the area,” Ms Brown told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland show.

“Three beautiful, kind, loving, caring ladies just gone in a moment.”

Ms Brown said that while the community is in shock, people are coming together to remember Úna and her daughters.

“They were very quiet girls, yet they had this beautiful energy about them and their smiles really lit up the rooms and the playing fields and every photo we have of them through the Oughterard girls’ rugby is of them smiling.

“So it’s a beautiful tribute to have and a wonderful memory and legacy to have of their wonderful vibrant spirits,” Ms Brown said.

In a post on Wednesday evening, local basketball club Cumann Cispheile Mhaigh Cuilinn said: “It is with enormous sadness that Cumann Cispheile Mhaigh Cuilinn has learned of the tragic deaths of our neighbours and clubmates Una, Ciara, and Saoirse Bowden.

“The Bowdens were active in many sports throughout our community.

“Ciara had been selected for the Galway Area girls under-14 basketball team.

“The thoughts and prayers of everyone in Cumann Cispheile Mhaigh Cuilinn are with the family, friends, and teammates of the Bowden family.”

Locals in Moycullen attended the Church of the Immaculate Conception on Wednesday evening, where a book of condolences was set up.

One of the tributes read: “Una, Ciara & Saoirse, We loved you and we will miss you”.

Another said: “Heartbreaking to lose such a fabulous family”, according to the Mirror.

In a statement to JOE on Tuesday evening, a spokesperson for An Garda Síochána said: “Gardaí continue to investigate the fatal road traffic collision on the N17 in Castlegar, Co. Mayo, which resulted in the deaths of Una Bowden (47), Ciara Bowden (14) and Saoirse Bowden (9) yesterday, Tuesday 26th March 2024.

“Post mortems of the deceased took place this morning at Mayo University Hospital. The results of these post mortems will not be released for operational reasons.

“Gardaí are continuing to appeal for any witnesses to this collision to come forward.

“Any road users who may have camera footage (including dash-cam) are asked to make this footage available to Gardaí.

“Anyone with any information is asked to contact Claremorris Garda Station on 094 9372080, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda Station.

Gardaí added that they continue to ask the public to not share any photos of the crash site circulating social media out of respect for the family.