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Aunt of TD Mick Wallace among New Year road deaths

THE family of Independent TD Mick Wallace was in mourning yesterday following the death of his aunt in a car crash on New Year's Day.

Margaret Wallace (69), the second wife of Deputy Wallace's uncle James, was driving in Ramsgrange, Co Wexford, at about 1.30pm when she lost control and her car hit a ditch. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

A 79-year-old female passenger who was also in the car was taken by ambulance to Wexford General Hospital.

Meanwhile, a well-known community activist from Co Mayo was fatally injured when he was thrown from a van which crashed in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Michael Gavin (52), from the village of Murrisk, died instantly in the accident, which took place at Kilsallagh, about four miles outside Louisburgh on the Westport road.

The Peugeot van was being driven by Noel Gavin (22), a nephew of the victim, at the time of the single-vehicle accident which occurred at 12.35am.


Mr Gavin is survived by his mother Babs, who is in her 80s, and brothers John, Austin and Chris, as well as his sister Jean Gardiner.

Although the driver and a second male passenger, John Sammin (19), were injured in the impact, which occurred on a bend, their condition is not believed to be serious.

It is understood the three had been on a night out in Louisburgh and were on their way home when the van went out of control.

The main Westport to Louisburgh road was closed for several hours yesterday as gardai launched a forensic investigation into the accident.

Michael Gavin was an active member of the Murrisk Development Association, which helps improve amenities at the scenic seaside village situated at the base of Croagh Patrick.

Paying tribute to Mr Gavin, a spokesman for the association said yesterday: "Michael was very generous with his time. He was a very good person for the community."

Meanwhile, gardai in Roscrea are appealing for witnesses to a single-vehicle crash at Inane, near the town on New Year's Day. Two women were injured when their car collided with a grass verge on the old N7 between Roscrea and Dunkerrin.

The driver of the car, who is aged in her 50s, remained in Limerick Regional Hospital last night, while her passenger, aged in her 80s, was released from hospital yesterday.

Irish Independent