Road safety clampdown as two killed in crashes
TWO men were killed in separate accidents yesterday as the latest garda safety clampdown got under way.
A 30-year-old aircraft technician died in an accident in Co Limerick. Just hours later a three-vehicle collision resulted in the death of an elderly man in Co Louth.
Drivers were urged to take extra care behind the wheel to save lives as more than a million people were expected to be on the move for the bank holiday weekend.
The month of March saw the lowest number of road deaths recorded since statistics began with 11 lives lost.
Gardai warned 'Operation Surround' would run from yesterday until Monday. The garda traffic teams will target a major town or centre in their division each night and set up intensive checkpoints around the area.
Yesterday, Seamus Maher, from Cappamore, Co Limerick, died after his Alfa Romeo car left the road as he made his way home from the east Limerick village yesterday morning.
The car he was driving struck a tree in the townland of Killuragh on the outskirts of Cappamore -- the victim was the sole occupant of the vehicle. No other vehicle was involved in the accident.
The victim came from a very popular family in Cappamore. He is survived by his father, Mike, sisters Clodagh and Nessa and brothers Gearoid and Fergal. His mother, Kathleen, died in 1999.
Seamus worked as an aircraft technician and travelled around Europe with his job. He played underage hurling and football with the local GAA club and in recent years togged out for Cappamore Celtic soccer club. He has extended family living throughout the east Limerick village.
"Seamus was a lovely lad who would have been known by everyone in Cappamore," one local man said last night. "He comes from a great family and was very popular. He had many friends here. His death is a tragedy for his dad, sisters and brothers and all who knew him.
"This Easter will be a very sad time in Cappamore," he added.
In Co Louth, a man who was in his 70s died after the Ford Mondeo he was driving was involved in a collision at around 1pm with a 4x4 and a lorry on a busy stretch of road between the villages of Dunleer and Collon. The four passengers in the 4x4 were not seriously injured.
During the Easter weekend 2009, gardai recorded that 296 motorists were caught drink driving, more than 2,100 were detected speeding and more than 280 received penalty points for driving while using a mobile phone.
More than a million people were expected to be using the road, rail and airports this weekend.
Meanwhile, ESB crews were also travelling to the North to aid engineers as more than 25,000 homes and businesses remained without power yesterday due to the storms.