Fun-loving and close-knit friends who enjoyed life

IN competitive fields, friendships can suffer but Jane Deasy, Aisling Butler and Eithne Walls weren’t about to let their’s become a casualty.

All through the daunting first days of college life, the stress of heavy schedules, the strain of exams and the ever-present pressure to live up to early promise, they found time for each other.

And when in July 2007 they left Trinity College where they first bumped into each other as freshers, they graduated not just with qualifications in medicine but with first class degrees in camaraderie as well.

Trinity Medical School seemed fertile ground for them in that regard.

At their graduation ceremony, a 10-minute film was played, chronicling their class’s five years as medical students through a collage of personal photographs.

Sporting events, fancy dress parties, class outings, evenings in, impromptu sessions, formal occasions – the snapshots revealed a happy mix of high jinks and high achievements with Jane, Aisling and Eithne frequently there in the thick of the action, smiling out from the close-knit bunch.

They were also together for their first stint as interns, the three being assigned to the challenging environment of Tallaght Hospital in Dublin where once again the lessons learnt in college – lessons about the value of friendship as much as about medicine – served them well.

By the time they split up to pursue their own particular interests, with Aisling remaining on in Tallaght’s Emergency Department, no amount of distance, diverse duties or clashing rosters was going to break their bonds.

On her personal website, Jane is pictured, smiling as ever, beside Aisling, and the sites created by the girls and their wider circle of acquaintances reveal that even with the very serious responsibilities of doctors upon them, they still made time for friendship and fun.

It was no surprise to those who knew them when the trio announced their holiday plans.

Their choice of destination – the sun, fun and excitement of Brazil – suited their seemingly never-ending energy reserves and their choice of travelling companions was obvious.

To learn that their trip had ended in tragedy was almost too much to take in.

The families of 26-year-old Aisling and 29-year-old Eithne spoke as best they could of their tremendous loss. The father of 27-year-old Jane, Joseph Deasy, himself a general surgeon at Beaumont Hospital, said just as much when he excused himself from comment and pleaded for privacy in his grief.

A service was held in the chapel at Tallaght Hospital yesterday at lunchtime to remember the three girls jointly one more time.

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