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Wednesday 20 September 2017

Gardai probe if car in death crash was on wrong side of road

David Forsythe, Edel O'Connell and Luke Byrne

GARDAI are investigating whether a car involved in a high-speed collision that left two people dead was travelling in the wrong direction along a dual carriageway.

A mother of one and a teenage boy were killed following the horror collision late on St Patrick's night, while another man remains in a critical condition in hospital.

A Volkswagen Golf carrying a male driver and passenger, and a Toyota Corolla with a sole female occupant, collided at high speed on the Cork city-bound carriageway of the main Cork-Waterford route, about half a mile east of the Little Island junction.

Mother-of-one Aoife Callanan (25) from Ballincollig, Cork, and John Joe Galvin (17) from Ballymitty, Co Wexford, died following the head-on collision.

It is understood the Corolla may have mistakenly taken the wrong slip road on to the dual carriageway.

The two vehicles collided at speeds in excess of 100kmh.

The passenger in the Golf, Nicholas Ely (23), from Clonmines, Co Wexford, survived the impact.

He was rushed to Cork University Hospital where he was described as being in a critical but stable condition last night.

Ms Callanan is survived by her seven-year-old daughter, her parents, three sisters and one brother.

"The family are extremely upset at the news. We are very upset and will not be making any comment at the moment," her brother Marc said.

John Joe is believed to have been travelling to west Cork with his friend Nicholas to attend a motor sport event. The teenager's death is the second tragedy to hit the Galvin family in recent times.

His father Padge, a property contractor, died in tragic circumstances four years ago.

His mother Catherine was visiting her sister in Florida when she got the news yesterday and was on the way home last night.

"When anything like this happens I'm conscious that because these lads were travelling to watch a motor sport event that it can be seen negatively," Pat O'Dowd, secretary of the Wexford Motor Club said.

"It shouldn't be seen any differently than if they were going to a GAA match. What has happened is a terrible tragedy for all of those involved," he said.

Shock

Five hours earlier, Leaving Certificate student Ruth Gorey (18) died when the seven-seater Toyota Landcrusier she was driving overturned after hitting a ditch on the old Dublin to Cork road just north of Mitchelstown at 6.50pm.

Ms Gorey was returning with friends and family from the Mitchelstown St Patrick's parade in which she took part.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The six other occupants -- four female and two male and all aged in their late teens, including her 15-year-old brother -- were taken by ambulance to Cork University Hospital.

One female passenger is understood to have suffered spinal injuries in the accident while the other five occupants were discharged from hospital yesterday.

It is understood Ms Gorey's mother Mary came upon the scene of the crash which happened within a few miles of the family home in Kilbeheny, Co Limerick.

Ms Gorey was a student at Presentation Secondary School in Mitchelstown, where she had received numerous awards and honours.

In a statement, the school said: "The entire school is in shock having heard of Ruth's tragic death. She will be remembered for her lovely nature, kindness and support to other students."

Irish Independent

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