A Duleek woman who was praised by US President Barack Obama for her dedicated work in the aftermath of the shootings at a screening of the new 'Batman' movie in the United States has died in a tragic drowning accident in the US.
Jennifer Gallagher-Pinson (46), a native of Drumman, Duleek, drowned in the accident at West Okoboji Lake while holidaying in north-west Iowa.
A daughter of Brigid and the late Johnny Gallagher, she lived in Denver, Colorado, with her husband Greg Pinson and five year-old son, Jack.
She was a very active member of the Denver Gaels GAA Club and the Irish community in Denver.
Jenny was a critical care emergency room nurse at the University of Colorado Hospital on 20th July last and reportedly treated several of the shooting victims in the aftermath of the killing spree in Aurora, a suburb of Denver.
President Obama and his wife, Michelle, had earlier paid tribute to her and her hospital colleagues, who were credited with saving the lives of many injured in the senseless massacre.
The community of Duleek has been stunned by the tragedy.
Her brother, Jimmy, and sisters, Kay, Maeve and Nicola, travelled to the US for her funeral.
Her elderly mother was unable to travel and another sister, Fiona, stayed with her mother. A Mass was celebrated in the family home at the same time as the funeral was taking place. Jenny was predeceased by her brother, Eddie.
She was a former pupil of Knockcommon National School and St Oliver's Community college in Drogheda. She put herself thorough nursing training in America and met her husband, Greg, 12 years ago.
She had worked in New York in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks and had played a major role in helping the victims of the Aurora massacre.
Childhood friend, Una O'Boyle, said Jenny was "an amazing, charismatic, beautiful person with incredible positive energy".
She said: "She came home regularly and kept in contact with her friends as well as her family. The whole community is in mourning."
Jenny was also a Gaelic games fanatic and she personally founded the Denver Gaels ladies' football club.
The club posted a tribute to her on its website, describing her as a "loving and devoted mother" and a "proud Meath woman".
"When you met Jenny, she brightened up your day and wanted to know how you were doing. Others always came first in the most natural and sincere way.
"In her vocation as a nurse, she cared for those with most acute needs in the burns unit, the ER and, most recently, was recognized for her work with the Aurora shooting victims by President Obama. We were all very proud of her," the club statement read.
A special Memorial Mass for Jenny will take place in St Cianan's Church, Duleek, this Sunday morning at 11.30am.
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