TRIBUTES have been paid to an Irish woman ‘with a heart of gold’ who dedicated years of her life to a Clydebank cheer group.

Elaine Clarke suddenly passed away at the end of January aged just 37 years old.

Clydebank Post: Elaine ClarkeElaine Clarke (Image: Christine Halligan)She had been a major part of the Clydebank Dance and Cheer (CDC) family for the past two years regularly flying over – sometimes as much as once a month - from her home in Drogheda, Ireland.

Lisa Tausney, owner of CDC explained that Elaine always made time for everyone and gave hers away “like she was a millionaire”.

Clydebank Post: Elaine and Lisa on at one of the many competitions that CDC takes part inElaine and Lisa on at one of the many competitions that CDC takes part in (Image: Lisa Tausney)Lisa said: “I met Elaine on holiday about eight years ago. We went to the same resort in Turkey quite often, she had been on holiday with her friends and our two groups became friendly.

“One year we were going out in October and her group wasn’t going so she asked if it would be okay to come with us and we said ‘Of course’.

“She hadn’t ever taken anything to do with dancing or cheerleading before but she came over to visit Scotland one time around two years ago and I was really busy at work so I said she could come along with me.

“She got the cheerleading bug and I think she thought ‘if I’m here I might as well help out’. Straight away she was handing out costumes, giving kids into trouble, being their super fan cheering them on, and starting to make bonds with the team.

“She flew over for every competition, every show, or if there was a really busy week and things needed done, she’d be bringing a wee bit of light and laughter to it.

“She was coming over multiple times a year, sometimes once a month. She just had a heart of gold and she would do absolutely anything for anyone.

“She was giving out her time like she was a millionaire.”

Clydebank Post: Elaine had been due to fly to Scotland at the start of February for CDC’s recent fundraising race night.

Lisa explained that she had thought about cancelling the event but Elaine would not have wanted that as she was “the life and soul of the party”.

In her honour attendees all wore an item of green clothing. Elaine’s sister Christine Halligan told the Post that her family had been “blown away” by this gesture.

Clydebank Post:

Clydebank Post: Christine said: “It was overwhelming to think that people would do that for her but not surprising as that was the kind of person she was for other people.

“We were just blown away by it. Elaine loved travelling, she was on 57 flights between Glasgow and Turkey last year.

“When she’d come home the first thing she’d do is book her next flight. She loved children and they loved her and I think that’s probably how she got involved with CDC.

“As soon as anybody needed anything Elaine would be there, you never get someone like that back. Even though she only had 37 years she definitely lived every one of them to the fullest so we’ve got no regrets about that.”

Clydebank Post: Elaine’s funeral was held in Drogheda on February 5. Many of her friends from Clydebank, Glasgow, London, Turkey, and Tenerife flew over to give her the send-off “she would have wanted”.

Christine explained that it brought her family great comfort to see just how loved she was.

She added: “If she would have known she was going to die, which she didn’t, she would have had no regrets at all.

“She loved coming and going just doing her own thing. All her friends from all over the world came home to give her the send-off she would have wanted, and she definitely got that.

“It was actually amazing and it gave us great comfort to see all the faces that went with the names that she had talked about over the years.

“She was just so full of fun, everybody loved Elaine.”