Wednesday 21 February 2018

No closure yet for families of tragic young students

Edel Kennedy

MARIE Conneely (19), Teresa Molloy (19), Sarah Byrne (20) and Sorcha Rose McLaughlin (19) died on Coyne's Corner as they returned to Galway from a Christmas shopping trip in Sligo.

They weren't familiar with the road and their Peugeot 206 collided with a pick-up truck on the corner, killing the four young students and leaving the 21-year-old driver, Michelle O'Donnell, fighting for her life.

Last night Teresa's mother Cathy said they still didn't know what had caused the accident because they had received no reports from the gardai or the local council.

And she called on Galway County Council to urgently complete and send accident reports to the National Roads Authority to prevent more young lives being lost.

"If the road was safe I don't think it would have happened," she told the Irish Independent from the family home in Leitir Mor in Connemara.

"If there had been signs up warning the kids that it was an accident black spot and they needed to slow down, they would have seen them."

She said that while the bad weather was a factor in the accident that killed the four young students, the dangerous bend on the road was the other determining factor.

Fr Martin O'Connor of Ballindine, who has been at the scene of several accidents at Coyne's Corner, said locals were "very wary" of that particular stretch of road. But he said those passing through didn't realise how sharp the bend was.

"There's a new road being built but who knows when that will be finished," he said.

"It's certainly something that should be attended to straight away before more people are killed."

The accident occurred on November 16 last year. Ms O'Donnell, from Kilronan on Inishmore in the Aran Islands, remains in hospital in Galway.

Irish Independent

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