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‘Sadness and shock’ as young Limerick man killed in road collision is named

Gardaí and the Road Safety Authority warn motorists to slow down as seven killed on the roads across the bank holiday weekend

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The scene of the crash at the Cat's Cradle in Limerick: Picture: Brendan Gleeson

The scene of the crash at the Cat's Cradle in Limerick: Picture: Brendan Gleeson

Assistant Garda Commissioner Paula Hilman pictured during a Road Safety Appeal at the N3 flyover on the Navan Road in Dublin. Picture: Frank McGrath

Assistant Garda Commissioner Paula Hilman pictured during a Road Safety Appeal at the N3 flyover on the Navan Road in Dublin. Picture: Frank McGrath

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The scene of the crash at the Cat's Cradle in Limerick: Picture: Brendan Gleeson

There is shock and sadness after a young Limerick man died when his car left a road and crashed into a wall in the early hours of Monday morning.

His death brings to seven the number of people killed on the roads across the bank holiday weekend since Thursday.

The victim, named locally as Luke Buckley, from Grange, Co Limerick, died after his car struck a wall at The Cat’s Cradle bar, situated beyond a sharp bend outside the village of Ballyneety, about 9km outside Limerick City.

No other vehicle was involved and no other persons were in the car, said Gardaí.

Firefighters attached to Limerick City and County Fire Service were alerted to the scene and used cutting equipment to free the victim from the wreckage, however despite the best efforts of emergency first responders he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Gardaí said the fatal collision occurred at approximately 12:30am and the “sole occupant of the only vehicle involved, a man in his early 20s, was pronounced dead at the scene”.

“The body has been removed to University Hospital Limerick where a post-mortem will be conducted at a later date.”

The R512 road at Carrigmartin, Ballyneety, was closed throughout Sunday night, to allow Garda Forensic Collision Investigators carry out a “technical examination of the scene”.

Appealing for witnesses, a Garda spokesman said: “Any road users who may have camera footage (including dash-cam) and were travelling on the R512 at Carrigmartin between midnight and 12:30am are asked to make this footage available to Gardaí.”

“Anyone with any information is asked to contact Roxboro Road Garda Station on 061 214340, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda Station.”

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Local non-party councillor Brigid Teefy said the area was “in shock” following the tragedy and that it had cast “a cloud of sadness and shock” in the community.

“I pass on my deepest sympathies to his parents Michael and Julie, and the rest of their children, they are very nice people,” said Ms Teefy.

“A young man starting out on life, it’s a terrible huge tragedy for the family and for the locality and our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this very sad time.”

The first fatality of the weekend occurred on Thursday morning when a man in his 60s died in a single vehicle collision in Dunmanaway, Cork.

The following afternoon two motorcyclists, aged in their 50s and 60s, died following a collision with a truck on the M50.

Footage of the aftermath of the crash was shared on social media, with Assistant Garda Commissioner with responsibility for roads policing Paula Hilman describing this as wrong and saying that, in some instances, family members have not yet been notified when such videos begin circulating.

On Saturday a motorcyclist in his early 40s died following a crash involving a car in Clifden Co Kilkenny. The following day, two men in their 70s died following a three-vehicle collision on the N15 in Rathcormack Sligo. In the early hours of this morning Luke Buckley became the seventh fatality when the car he was driving crashed on the R512 near Ballyneety in Limerick.

It brings to 77 the number of people who have died on the roads so far this year, compared with 48 for the same period last year.

Senior gardaí have described an increase in road fatalities as "worrying" after seven people lost their lives in crashes over the weekend.

Road users have been urged to take care after eight people were also seriously injured following collisions in Dublin, Sligo, Limerick, Kilkenny and Cork in recent days.

So far this year 77 people have died on Irish roads, making it the deadliest year since 2017 when comparing fatalities up to the same time of year.

Over 100 people have also been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol over the June bank holiday weekend.

Today Assistant Garda Commissioner Paula Hilman, in charge of Roads Policing and Community Engagement, said that the increase in deaths was "tragic" and that it needed to be reversed.

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Assistant Garda Commissioner Paula Hilman pictured during a Road Safety Appeal at the N3 flyover on the Navan Road in Dublin. Picture: Frank McGrath

Assistant Garda Commissioner Paula Hilman pictured during a Road Safety Appeal at the N3 flyover on the Navan Road in Dublin. Picture: Frank McGrath

Assistant Garda Commissioner Paula Hilman pictured during a Road Safety Appeal at the N3 flyover on the Navan Road in Dublin. Picture: Frank McGrath

"Our message today to everyone is please slow down, be careful, and pay attention on the roads. Just one second of inattention can have devastating consequences and please be careful as you drive home this bank holiday weekend. We do know that afternoon periods are high risk periods for serious and fatal road traffic collisions,” she said.

"Undoubtedly it's worrying, it's a tragic trend because every number we talk about is a person, it's someone's loved one and it's an empty seat at the table, we must never lose sight of that.”

Ms Hilman expressed her condolences with the families of this weekend's road victims.

The senior garda said that the "significant" increase in deaths year-on-year was a culmination of multiple factors including speeding, road users not wearing their seatbelt, inattention, and people driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

She told reporters that over the weekend 110 people had been arrested for drink or drug driving, including one arrest shortly before this morning's press briefing began.

Last year the number of drivers detained for being under the influence of drugs had surpassed drink driving arrests, although those figures have begun to balance out again.

Gardaí have also noted deaths have occurred across all age groups but that significantly 85pc of road victims in 2022 have been men.

Forensic collision investigators are continuing to carry out inquiries into the road crashes while family liaison officers have also been appointed in each case.

The following afternoon two motorcyclists, aged in their 50s and 60s, died following a collision with a truck on the M50 in Dublin.

Footage of the aftermath of the crash was shared on social media with Ms Hilman describing this as wrong and that, in some instances, family members have not yet been notified when such videos begin circulating.

Road Safety Authority chairperson Liz O’Donnell described this weekend’s toll as appalling and distressing, appealing for drivers to slow down.

She said that the RSA had noticed that in the last year a “cavalier” attitude to speed limits, especially in 50kmh and 80kmh limit areas.

Ms O’Donnell said it was particularly important that the limits be obeyed in these areas, as in 50kmh areas motorists were putting vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, motorcyclists and children at risk, while 80kmh covered rural roads where many fatal crashes occurred.

She denied a suggestion that the RSA was ignoring motorcyclists, saying the May Bank Holiday campaign had focused on bikers.

Separately in Australia, an 18-year-old Irish man has also died in a road collision. Two other Irish men in the same vehicle are in hospital with serious injuries after the incident in Cobden, in the southwest of the state of Victoria.


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