Blackwater rocked by Tonya's death
People in Blackwater have been shocked and saddened by the tragic death of Dublin cyclist Tonya McEvoy who was a regular visitor to the area where her family have had a second home for many years.
Tonya (34) was on a cycle with members of the Orwell Wheelers Club when she was involved in a collision with an oncoming car outside the town of Rathcoffey in County Kildare. She was pronounced dead in Naas General Hospital.
Members of Wexford Friends of Crumlin Children's Hospital who were joined by Tonya on a 300km charity cycle from County Clare to Blackwater last year, formed a guard of honour at her funeral in her home parish of Rathfarnham in Dublin last week, wearing their pink jerseys as they stood alongside her fellow cyclists from Orwell Wheelers.
The charity set up four years ago by Peter and Liz O' Brien of Blackwater whose five-year old son Shea has received treatment in Crumlin Hospital since birth, posted a notice on its Facebook page saying members were 'devastated to hear of the tragic death of our fellow cyclist Tonya'.
'Tonya joined us last year in our fund-raising cycle from County Clare to Blackwater. She was a lovely girl who became one of the team very quickly. She had signed up to do this year's cycle as well. We will miss her and we send our deepest condolences to her family.'
Peter said Tonya heard about the cycle and wanted to get involved because she wanted to help and loved a challenge. She fitted in perfectly owing to her competitive streak and her sociable nature. Everybody loved her.
Blackwater was a home from home for Tonya and her sister Ciara who delivered an emotional tribute at her funeral.
'We were reared in Blackater. It was like a home to us from a young age,' Ciara told the congregation in Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Rathfarnham who included mourners from Wexford.'
'If Dublin or work got hectic we'd always say just get in the car and drive to Wexford and let it all disappear. We'd always go for walks down to the beach in our walking gear and end up in Saucer's pub until half eleven thst night. Tonya would be going mad because she had no make-up done. I'd say to her 'just go with the flow.'
Ciara said her sister always did right in life and what happened to her wasn't fair. 'But she died doing what she loved and she had passion in her cycling.'
I don't want everyone to leave here and be crying. I think that we should just look up to the sky and the clouds and I'm sure Tonya is just cycling by,' she said.
Tonya's parents Brian and Pat have had a second home in Blackwater village for a long number of years and are well-known and well-regarded in the area. There is widespread sympathy and support locally for the McEvoy family following the tragic death of their daughter.
Wexfordman Neil Murphy who lives in Blackwater, was one of 10 cyclists from Wexford Friends of Crumlin Children's Hospital who formed a guard of honour at Tonya's funeral.
Neil said Tonya joined the Crumlin cycle for the first time last June. She was a talented cyclist and determined and competitive in the nicest possible way. She was the kind of person who was always looking to do good for other people.
Childcare worker Tonya who worked as a nanny for a family in Rathgar, is survived by her parents Brian and Pat; her brothers Brian and Keith; her sister Ciara and her extended family and many friends.
The Wexford Friends of Crumlin Children's Hospital has raised more than €100,000 for the hospital over the past four years.