Biker and pensioner killed in separate crashes
A YOUNG motorcyclist travelling to meet his girlfriend was one of two people to die in traffic accidents yesterday.
The deaths bring the number of people killed on our roads so far this year to 102 -- five more than the same period last year.
The motorcyclist died in hospital a short time after he drove into a ditch at Doonmarray, Ballygawley, Co Sligo, at about 8.20pm on Thursday.
He was named yesterday as Eamon Gaffney (26) from Knockbeg, Collooney, Co Sligo.
Mr Gaffney, who is survived by two brothers, was taken to Sligo General Hospital where he later died from his injuries.
Gardai at Sligo are appealing for any witnesses to the single-vehicle accident to contact them.
Separately, an elderly woman who was the sole occupant of her car, died at the scene after she collided head-on with a van at about 7.15pm on Thursday.
The woman (69), originally from the UK, was living in Schull, Co Cork, and was driving to her home when the tragedy occurred.
The collision took place at Dromgarriffe outside Glengarriff on the Castletownbere Road.
The van driver was also injured but his condition is not life-threatening.
Gardai at Bantry have appealed for witnesses who were in the area between 7.15pm and 7.30pm to contact them.
Meanwhile, a woman was recovering in hospital last night after her car burst into flames when it hit a tree.
Three gardai who attended the scene at Fethard Road, just outside Clonmel, were treated for smoke inhalation as they tried to pull the 33-year-old from the vehicle.
She suffered serious injuries and was taken to South Tipperary General Hospital in Clonmel for treatment.
The crash happened at about 7.30pm and no other vehicles were involved.
Garda spokesman Supt John Gilligan last night urged drivers to take special care on the roads during July and August, which are seen as the most dangerous months due to the high volume of holidaymakers and tourists travelling on the roads.
Gardai have implemented a public information campaign at all ferry ports, in which foreign drivers are reminded to drive on the left-hand side of the road.
"Friday and Saturdays are also high-risk with the volumes of people on the roads," he told the Irish Independent. The recent spate of heavy rain and changeable weather also made driving hazardous, he added.