A Christian outreach worker from Northern Ireland has been killed after collision in the County Cavan, Ireland. Joan McAlister, 66, was travelling in a vehicle near the village of Ballinagh when the accident happened. The driver of McAlister's vehicle also died in the crash. The former teacher, who worked with The Irish Evangelistic Band, was decribed as “a faithful friend devoted to serving God and helping others," by her family.
In a statement to the Belfast Newsletter, the family said Ms McAlister's "desire was to share the Gospel with the people of Ireland".
The family added: "She greatly appreciated the support of many volunteers who helped in this work of visitation and outreach in Counties Sligo, Leitrim, Donegal, Mayo and Roscommon.
"In recent years she was pleased, with the help of other friends, to organise the distribution of the booklet ‘No Longer Hoping’ to every county in the Republic of Ireland.
“The booklet ‘Hope in a Troubled World’ was also distributed to 1.2 million homes. Both books were written by Dick Keogh. Her great desire was to complete this distribution to the remaining 600,000 homes.
"In her work in the Republic of Ireland Joan and other team members were warmly welcomed in residential homes and care centres where they shared the Gospel in word and song with residents.
“Everyone enjoyed these visits and they were always warmly welcomed back.”
Concluding their statement, the family described Joan as "a dedicated person and faithful friend devoted to serving God and helping others."
"She will be greatly missed by all her family and friends."
Having known McAlister for many years, Newry and Armagh MLA William Irwin said: “I am really saddened to learn of Joan’s passing and indeed that of her colleague, it is a real tragedy that her family has been plunged into grief. Joan was a very dedicated individual who did a lot of very good work through out her life and was a valued member of the IEB organisation.
He added: “I sympathise sincerely with her sister Valerie and the wider family circle at this time and my thoughts and prayers are with them all as they come to terms with this tragedy. I also pass on my thoughts sympathy and prayers to the family of her colleague who was also sadly passed away in this terrible road traffic accident.”