A MAYO woman with close ties to Enniskillen has been tragically killed in a car accident.
Lauren Padden, 22, from Belmullet died following a single-vehicle collision last Friday night (January 26). She was the granddaughter of Hubert ‘Cubie’ and Marie Elliott from Enniskillen and had extended family and friends in the county.
The victim was pronounced dead at the scene after the car she was driving left the road and hit a ditch at Corlough West in Belmullet, Mayo.
A man and a woman, both in their early 20s and who were passengers in the car, were taken to Mayo University Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Before the tragic accident, Lauren had been in Enniskillen visiting her cousin and best friend, Pauline Regan, 21.
“Lauren was up in Enniskillen last week. She stayed here with me from Monday to Wednesday and then went back down to Mayo after that,” Ms Regan said. “She was always in Enniskillen regularly.
“She would have been up here all the time at different family events. We were out over Christmas in Enniskillen and we’d gone out for cocktails in Magee’s [bar]. She’d lots of friends here.
“She got on with absolutely everyone. Her friends ranged from young kids to pensioners. She could chat to anyone.”
Lauren’s grandfather ‘Cubie’ Elliott said he got great comfort from the many good things people had to say about his granddaughter.
“Hundreds of people of all ages have told some beautiful stories about her and it has been a big help to us,” he said.
Lauren’s aunt Sarah Boyle from Brookeborough remembered her niece as having an ‘infectious spirit’ and always being ‘full of life’.
“She was a very funny girl and always enjoyed a good laugh. She had an infectious spirit and was always so full of life. Everyone knew Lauren. She was very popular and got on with everybody,” Ms Boyle said.
“Lauren enjoyed coming up to Fermanagh [from Mayo] and would have come to Enniskillen regularly to visit. She was the kind of person who stayed in contact with everyone – it didn’t matter what age they were.”
Ms Boyle said that she had a particular link with the older generation such as her grandparents.
“Lauren had an old soul and had a real connection with older people and having the craic with them. Her grandparents loved her every bit as much as the younger ones [in the family],” she explained.
“She would always be at family gatherings and was a real social butterfly. She’d never miss a chance to meet up with friends and family.
“She’ll never be forgotten, that’s for sure.”
Lauren was also passionate about the Irish language and was a fluent Irish speaker. She had planned to work as an Irish teacher after she finished university in Galway this year.
In a Facebook post, Our Lady’s Secondary School Belmullet described their past pupil as having an ‘endearing personality’.
“Lauren entered Our Lady’s Secondary School in 2013 and with her infectious smile and endearing personality she made the school a better place every day,” the post read.
“Her presence touched the lives of all who were lucky enough to have met her in Our Lady’s, and were proud to see her graduate 2019, full of life, hope and ambition.”
Funeral Mass will take place today (Wednesday, February 1) at the Church of the Holy Family, Carne, Belmullet at 2pm, followed by interment in Emlybeg Cemetery.
Predeceased by her recently deceased grandmother Ann and her aunties Maria and Collette. She was the daughter of Martin and Shelley and sister of Dara and Paddy.
She will be sadly missed by her heartbroken family – grandfather Paddy Padden (Shanahee, Belmullet) and grandparents ‘Cubie’ and Marie Elliot (Enniskillen, Fermanagh), aunts, uncles, cousins, and many friends.
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