'A national figure in athletics' - tributes to Irish international athlete tragically killed in car accident
MINISTERS are among the latest to pay tribute to noted Irish athlete and father of one Craig Lynch, who was killed tragically in a car accident on Saturday.
Ministers Shane Ross and Brendan Griffin paid tribute to Mr Lynch last night to the "extremely talented" athlete.
“We wish to extend our condolences to Craig’s family and friends," read a joint statement from the two ministers.
"Craig was an extremely talented athlete who represented his country with great pride. We were extremely saddened to hear of the tragic death of Craig. Our sympathies and prayers are with Craig’s family, Shercock AC and the greater athletic community at this very sad time.”
Several TDs and sports organisations have also paid tributes to the athlete, who is described as being a “national figure” in athletics.
Former Athletic Ireland High Performance Director and Olympic coach Kevin Ankrom shared two heartfelt photos of Mr Lynch, which show a young girl running up to him and jumping into his arms.
“My heart is broken to hear the tragic news of Craig Lynch's passing,” he wrote on social media.
“These photos of Craig will always remind me when a moment was shared that there is so much more life than sport... Craig was a special person, father, and friend to so many. He will truly be missed,” he added.
Mr Lynch died in an early morning crash on Saturday in Kells, County Meath.
He was the only person in the vehicle and it is understood that the car he was driving left the road and hit a wall.
Athletics Ireland also offered their “deepest condolences” to his family, friends and clubmates.
“Absolutely shocking news in our community today on the tragic passing of Craig Lynch,” wrote Fianna Fáil TD Niamh Smyth.
“A national figure in the world of athletics who represented Ireland back in 2016. My deepest sympathy to the Lynch family,” she added.
Independent TD Séamus Healy also extended sympathies.
“Saddened to hear of the tragic passing of Craig Lynch. My sympathies to his family and friends at this time,” he said.
According to Athletic Ireland, Mr Lynch represented Ireland at the European Championships in 2016 and was also a part of the Ireland team in the 2015 World Relay Championships.
He worked as a science teacher in Eureka Secondary School in Kells and was from Shercock in County Cavan.
“It is with deep sadness that we announce the untimely death of our teacher, colleague and friend, Mr Craig Lynch,” the school posted on social media.