Mairéad D'Arcy

We received the worst possible news just after Christmas 2016 when an accident during a Ladies' race at the St Stephen's Day meeting at the Waterford Raceway claimed the life of the club's devoted and universally loved secretary, Mairéad D'Arcy.

Mairéad was rightly regarded as the heart and soul of the Waterford Raceway (better known to Irish racers as "The Pike") and her personality and dedication to her local racers played a major part in making The Pike such a special and enjoyable place to go racing. When we paid an unannounced visit to The Pike in the summer of 2016 we experienced at first hand how Mairéad's smiling, welcoming and helpful presence made such a difference to every racer's and visitor's day at this historic track.

Having been brought up in a family who had all made a massive contribution over the years to the Waterford Raceway, Mairéad loved her racing and was known for her ability to get into a great variety of cars and get the best out of them, whether in ladies' races or competing against the men. In November she'd raced for the first time at the Tipperary Raceway (Rosegreen) and came away a winner.

However, it's not just the racing world that will feel Mairéad's loss. As a devoted early years teacher, she'd recently realised a dream with the very successful opening of her own school, "Maud's Little Learners" in her home village of Stradbally, Co Waterford.

To the D'Arcy family, the racers and supporters at Waterford Raceway, to everyone on the Irish racing scene who'd been touched by Mairéad's influence, and to all in her local community, we offer our heartfelt condolences.

RIP Mairéad