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‘Well-liked and gentle’ pensioner killed in birthday crash

June 16, 2014

The victim of Thursday’s fatal car crash on the Warrenpoint dual carriageway was killed on her birthday, The Examiner has learned.

Phyllis Mackey (78) died in the two-car collision involving a silver Renault Clio and a red Ford Focus at the junction of the Old Warrenpoint Road, which occurred around 2.15pm.  Her husband, Gerry, was treated for non-life threatening injuries.  Both passengers in the other vehicle were also treated in hospital although their condition is not believed to be life-threatening.

The couple, from the Church Street area of Newry, were returning from visiting a relative when the tragedy occurred.  A family get together had been planned to celebrate Phyllis’s birthday later that evening.

A mother-of-eight, Phyllis was extremely well-known and respected by her many friends and neighbours in the Church Street area where she has lived all her life.

Her husband, Gerry, is equally well-known, having worked for many years as a porter in Daisy Hill Hospital, before his retirement.

SDLP Councillor John McArdle, described Phyllis as “a gentle woman, who wouldn’t harm a fly“.

“It’s a real tragedy. Phyllis was well-liked by her neighbours and everyone that met her. Phyllis comes from a large family, mostly of girls, and my condolences go out to them and to her husband,” he added.

SDLP MLA Karen McKevitt expressed her sadness at the tragedy: “The accident happened on the A2 at a dangerous junction which unfortunately has been the site of other accidents,” she said.  “It is a stretch of road that I have expressed concern about to the Roads Service who made some improvements in recent years.

“This is terrible news for the woman’s family who are devastated.  My thoughts and prayers are with them at this very difficult time. I would appeal for any witnesses to this terrible accident to contact the police,” she added.

Officers investigating this collision are keen to hear from witnesses and can be contacted at the Collision Investigation Unit by calling the non-emergency number 101.

Phyllis is survived by her husband Gerry, children Maurice, Fiona, Jennifer, Damien, Felicity, Celina, Sinead and Timmy, step-children, grandchildren and wide family circle.

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