A FATHER-of-three who was killed in a seven car pile-up on one of the busiest commuting roads in the country had proposed to his long-term girlfriend on Christmas Day.
Enniscorthy man Pa Kinsella (38) died after he apparently left his car to warn other motorists of the mangled vehicles that lay in their path on the N11.
Tragically, the father of two girls and one boy had asked his girlfriend, Grainne Crimmins, to marry him three weeks ago on Christmas Day.
Speaking to the Irish Independent last night, his heartbroken brother Kieran Kinsella said Pa and Grainne planned to tie the knot in 2015.
"They were looking through wedding catalogues just the other night. They hadn't picked a hotel yet but they were going to marry in the cathedral in Enniscorthy. Now that's where his funeral will be."
Mr Kinsella's death is the second tragedy to hit the well-known Co Wexford family in less than two years – his younger brother Owen died in Leeds, England, in 2011.
Kieran told how his brother, a butcher at Superquinn in Bray, Co Wicklow, had left home earlier than usual yesterday morning because of the poor road conditions on the N11.
"We heard that the car went out of control because of the conditions, and he got out. It was dark and he got hit by another car," he said.
"We went to identify him in the hospital and there were just a few scratches on his face. He looked like he was sleeping."
Paying tribute to his soccer-fanatic brother, Kieran said: "He loved socialising and he was everybody's friend. He always had a smile on his face."
Mr Kinsella is survived by his fiancee Grainne, his children from a previous relationship, Alanah (11), Corah (10) and Eoghan (1), his parents William and Elizabeth, brothers Tomas and Kieran and his twin brother, Billy.
Freezing temperatures are understood to have been a factor in the fatal pile-up. There were a number of other minor collisions along the same stretch of road during the morning.
Enniscorthy town councillor Keith Doyle told the Irish Independent he understood Mr Kinsella was heroically trying to warn other cars of the accident when he died. "He got out to help and he was trying to ward off other cars, from what I'm hearing," he said.
The heartbroken family gathered last night at their parents William and Elizabeth's house in the town.
Mr Kinsella had posted a message on his Facebook page on Christmas Day, telling his followers that he had proposed to Grainne. He wrote that afternoon: "Happy Xmas everyone ... me and my beautiful girlfriend are engaged."
Mr Kinsella was the only fatality in yesterday's pile-up on the N11. All the other occupants of the vehicles were treated for shock, but suffered no serious injuries. Units from the Wicklow Fire Brigade, paramedics and at least four ambulances attended the scene. The N11 was closed northbound until shortly after 3.30pm.