Sunday 11 December 2016

Former Tanaiste Dick Spring offers to meet family of man who died when his ministerial car was involved in an accident

Published 06/07/2015 | 21:54

Dick Spring
Dick Spring

FORMER Tánaiste Dick Spring has said he will meet the family of a man who died almost 35 years ago when his ministerial car was involved in an accident in County Tipperary.

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Speaking this evening, Mr Spring said he has found it “difficult” to speak about the accident, which resulted in the death of 51-year-old Dublin man James Curran.

Former Tanaiste Dick Spring
Former Tanaiste Dick Spring

Mr Curran’s son Alan (49) today spoke publicly for the first time about losing his father and the impact the death has had on his family.

Speaking to The Niall Boylan Show on Classic Hits 4fm, Alan expressed his upset that neither Mr Spring or the Labour Party ever contacted his family following the incident, which took place in Nenagh in December 1981.

“Thirty three years. Not a letter, not a wreath , not a phone call. He was Tánaiste, leader of the Labour Party. He could have got my number, my address but he did neither,” Alan told the radio show.

Mr Spring was a minister at the time of the incident and was a passenger in the vehicle when the crash occurred.

Mr Curran, a father-of-three, was the only person to lose their life in the accident. 

His son Alan told Niall Boylan that his family does not blame anybody for the accident but have always wondered why they were not contacted by Mr Spring.

“Nobody from the State, the Labour party…sent a wreath, a mass card, anything,” Alan said.

The garda who was driving the ministerial Mercedes at the time of the crash wrote a letter to the victim’s wife, Alan’s mother, who is in her eighties.

Alan recalled how, just aged 15, he was called from his classroom by the school secretary after the accident occurred.

He was then brought home by a family friend to comfort his mother.

“She was in mourning for a good number of years,” he said.

Alan said it always played on his mind why Mr Spring never got in touch.

Speaking to Independent.ie tonight, Mr Spring said he now intends to make contact with the Curran family and facilitate a meeting.

“It has been a difficult thing for me to talk about also, as you can imagine,” he said.

“I will of course meet the family, if they are willing to do so.”

Mr Spring served as Labour leader from 1982-1997 during one of the country’s most tumultuous periods.

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