Man killed in day of crashes, pile-ups, closures and chaos
A YOUNG man was killed and his brother was seriously injured in a two-vehicle road crash last night.
The incident happened on another day of travel chaos caused by snow and ice which hit roads, curtailed bus services and closed one airport.
The crash happened at Ballyroe, less than five miles from Tralee, Co Kerry, after 6.30pm.
A spokesman for the council later denied that road conditions were a factor in the collision and maintained the road had been salted about an hour before the accident.
The 20-year-old victim was named last night as James Curley who had been living in Ennis, Co Clare. His brother Kevin (18), who lives in Tralee, was seriously injured.
They were travelling from the Ardfert direction towards Tralee. The two people in the second car, which was travelling in the opposite direction, were uninjured.
Meanwhile, in Co Clare, a car crashed into the rear of a fire engine which was attending a multi-vehicle pile-up on one of the country's busiest roads yesterday.
Up to seven cars were involved in the collision at 11am on the N18 dual carriageway near Bunratty which resulted in the road being closed for several hours.
The pile-up occurred after one car spun out of control and a second motorist stopped to give assistance. Other cars travelling in the same direction lost traction and began colliding with each other.
Three units from the Limerick and Ennis Fire Brigade attended the scene, and while emergency workers dealt with the incident another car skidded on the ice and careered into the rear of a fire engine.
Knock Airport was forced to close and bus services across the country cancelled after another day of travel chaos.
Bus Eireann services were disrupted in Cork, the south- west, north Leinster and the north-west because of treacherous road conditions and as local authorities coped with dwindling supplies of grit.
By Friday, 14,500 tonnes of extra grit will have been imported into the country with another 4,000 tonnes due to land in Cork next Monday.
But some local authorities are running short, with Leitrim County Council saying it would only treat national routes until Friday to conserve supplies.
Gardai in Cork warned that they were "struggling" to cope with the conditions.
Motorists uninjured in collisions were urged to leave their details at the scene as patrol cars could no longer risk ice damage for non-emergency callouts.
Black ice meant that even national primary roads were left in a treacherous condition and motorists were warned of extremely dangerous roads on the Cork-Tipperary, Cork-Kerry and Cork-Waterford borders yesterday.
In Connacht, Ireland West Airport at Knock in Co Mayo was forced to close shortly after midday after the runway froze over due to "blizzard" conditions. It reopened last night.
Secondary roads across east Mayo, south Sligo, west Roscommon and north Galway were worst affected.
Several vehicles were involved in more than a dozen accidents on the outskirts of Limerick city.
Donegal North East TD Joe McHugh said that sand from beaches could be used to help grit roads. He said that Donegal County Council would have spent €1m by the weekend treating roads, and sand from beaches should be used on a one-off basis.
In Dublin, conditions remained very icy in the suburbs with Lucan particularly dangerous. The Chapelizod, Islandbridge and Knockmaroon Gates to the Phoenix Park were all closed. The Road Safety Authority urged motorists only to travel if necessary.
- Additional reporting: Anne Lucey, Brendan Farrelly, Ralph Riegel, Tom Shiel, Anita Guidera, Barry Duggan and Pat Flynn