‘Nice and generous’ Derry teacher killed while cycling to work in UAE

Caina Healey, 35, a former student at St Cecilia’s College in Derry, died after being hit by a car while cycling to work at Al Taweelah in Abu Dhabi.

The accident happened on Wednesday morning.

Emergency services rushed to the scene, where Ms Healey was pronounced dead.

She worked as a physical education teacher at Amity International School.

Her principal, Adrian Frost, said: “Caina has had an immense impact on the lives of her students and colleagues.

“Many of her students attribute their achievements, character and values ​​to the teaching and coaching they received from her.”

St Cecilia’s College paid tribute today, saying: “We are deeply saddened to learn of the sudden and untimely death of former student Caina Healey. Caina was a popular student who lived the school motto every day.

“An avid athlete, she proudly represented the school in swimming, running and triathlon.

“As an educator and athlete, she has touched the hearts of many, including ours.

“On behalf of the entire school community, we extend our condolences to her family and friends as they navigate this very difficult time.”

Caina has lived in the Middle East for several years.

Amity International School described her as a well-known figure on the Abu Dhabi triathlon scene, having recently qualified to represent UAE at the Half-Ironman World Championships in August in Finland.

The UAE Triathlon Federation confirmed her death in a statement.

It said: “Caina was a remarkable athlete who raised the bar for women triathletes in the UAE. We remember her as a tenacious competitor who always pushed her limits and inspired others to do the same.

“Caina recently placed third in the Bahrain Half Ironman, placed first in the Muscat Half Ironman relay and had qualified to represent Team UAE at the 2023 Half Ironman World Championship.

“Caina was an exceptional educator who touched the lives of many students and her passing is a great loss to Amity International School and the community.

“Her passion and commitment to education was evident in the way she inspired and supported her students, taking free and regular time to push themselves. Her contributions to the school’s sports program have been invaluable.

“It is sad to think that such a kind and generous person could be taken from us so unexpectedly.”

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Caina has also been a member of various sports groups in the Middle East, including the Al Reef group and the TriBelles.

The Al Reef group said Caina is their only female member who has a “beautiful energy” and was “always smiling”.

“Caina was the only rider in our group [and] kept the rest of us busy on our weekly rides,” the group said.

“Always at the top – even with a 40km headwind – always smiling, always in a positive mood. We will miss the beautiful energy that Caina, who was taken from us way too soon, brought to the group.

“Along with the rest of the UAE’s cycling, triathlon and teaching communities, our hearts and thoughts are with Caina’s family at this difficult time.”

The TriBelles said she was “kind, thoughtful and also extremely humble.”

“Sport was her passion and she turned it into a successful career. We know Amity International School and its students feel this loss as much as we do,” said TriBelles.

Sports group Raha said her death will “create a significant vacuum in many people’s lives.”

“She was very popular in her circle of friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with her loved ones and those closest to her.

“Caina wants everyone to ride more in the future and participate in a sport that she really enjoys.”

The Irish embassy in the United Arab Emirates also paid tribute to the sports teacher.

“We are devastated by the loss of a dear member of our community in Abu Dhabi, Caina Healey,” it said.

“An incredible athlete, caring teacher and loving friend to many in the UAE. Caina was a shining light who left us far too soon.”

A memorial service is planned in the Middle East, while details of the funeral in Northern Ireland have yet to be announced.


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