"They were great lads, really good fun...a terrible tragedy"
TWO lifelong friends were killed in a car crash on a winding country road in the early hours of yesterday as they returned from a night out.
The families of Fergal Ronan (21) from Fairyhouse Lodge and Brian Bradley (20) from Mullinam Lane, both in Ratoath, Co Meath, were being comforted last night after the double tragedy.
The pals were returning from a night out at 2.05am yesterday morning when the 98-D registered Peugeot 106 went out of control on the Ratoath to Dunshaughlin Road and struck a tree three miles outside Dunshaughlin.
The friends were pronounced dead at the scene, with wreckage spread over a wide distance.
The young men -- both motoring enthusiasts -- had been lifelong friends and were preparing to return to college in Dublin in the coming weeks.
Mr Bradley worked as a bartender at Ballymacgarvey House in Co Meath and was well known in the area.
Mr Ronan was a regular contributor to the motoring enthusiast website octane.ie, where a number of touching tributes were posted about him yesterday.
"For anyone who met Fergal in the past he was a genuine, nice guy and always one to have the craic. Thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends today. RIP," said one post
Distraught teenagers looked on in disbelief yesterday as the mangled wreckage was removed from the scene.
Meanwhile, family and friends sat outside the Ronan household in the sprawling housing estate at Fairyhouse Lodge in silence.
One visibly upset man told the Irish Independent that the family were too distraught to talk and were attempting to get to grips with the tragedy.
The local parish priest spent the day comforting both families at their homes yesterday.
Two friends going to the Ronan household to comfort the family told the Irish Independent that the pair were friends for many years and were very much liked in the community.
"They were great lads, really good fun. All we can do now is go and be with the family, what else can you do?
"It is a terrible tragedy," one said.
"I work in the local community centre and people were gathering there all day, struggling to come to terms with this," local Fianna Fail councillor Nick Killian said.
"It is a terrible tragedy for two young men to lose their lives in this way. The two lads had grown up together and were the best of friends.
"The young people all socialise together here locally and they would all know each other so there's a great sadness around the village today," he said. Gardai in Dunshaughlin, Co Meath, are investigating the circumstances of the crash.
•AN Irish truck driver transporting clothes was fighting for his life last night following a crash in Spain.
The 25-year-old suffered multiple injuries after a collision with another truck near Madrid.
The driver of the second truck, a 55-year-old Spaniard, died in hospital from his injuries. The accident happened at around 9.30pm on Monday.