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Sunday 24 March 2019

Teen (17) injured in tragic crash was due to begin Leaving Cert today, funeral details for dad-of-seven announced

Funeral of dad killed in tragic crash to be held tomorrow

Patrick McMahon was killed in a car crash
Patrick McMahon was killed in a car crash
The scene of the collision at the entrance to the southbound off-ramp to junction 13 near Ennis, Co Clare, in which a man died yesterday. Photo: Press 22

Ian Begley, Olivia Kelleher and Pat Flynn

A father who died in a crash as he was going to the beach with his family will be laid to rest tomorrow.

He has been named locally as Patrick McMahon of Churchtown, Co Cork.

His 15-year-old daughter Vanessa, who was seriously injured in the head-on collision between the family's van and a tractor, continues to fight for her life.

Her boyfriend, Thomas Crowley (17), who was also a passenger in the van, remains in a serious condition in Cork University Hospital (CUH).

Thomas, a student at Coláiste Mhuire Buttevant, was due to begin his Leaving Cert today.

In a tragic twist, it emerged that Mr McMahon's partner, Gillian McAllen, was following behind the van in a car and came across the scene just moments after the crash on Monday.

The family are understood to be well-respected within Churchtown, although they are not native to the area.

It took emergency services around two hours to cut the injured teenagers from the van, such was the damage caused by the crash.

They were then airlifted to the GAA pitch at Bishopstown in Cork city before being transferred by ambulance to CUH.

The driver of the tractor, a man aged in his late 20s, was not injured in the crash.

Mr McMahon's funeral takes place tomorrow at Christ King Church, Turners Cross, in Cork with burial at St Gobnait's Cemetery in Mallow.

He is survived by his partner and his seven children, Jasmine, Vanessa (Nessa), Frank, Sinead, Holly, Joy and Saoirse. Local Fine Gael Councillor John Paul O'Shea said the family were heading for a day out at the beach when the crash happened.

He said: "The McMahons are a large, well-known family from the Churchtown area. Churchtown is a very strong tight-knit community and I am sure the community will rally around the family."

Irish Cattle and Sheep Association rural development chairman Seamus Sherlock has highlighted that it is a busy time on farms and there are increased numbers of tractors and other farm machinery using the roads.

"Patience as well as extreme caution must be exercised by everybody," he said.

Meanwhile, a truck driver has been arrested following a fatal collision in Co Clare yesterday in which a local businessman in his 60s was killed.

The victim, believed to be a former publican from Crusheen in Clare, died instantly following the collision between his refrigerated van and an articulated lorry on the M18 near Ennis.

It is understood he operated a milk delivery business.

The crash happened at around 12.50pm at the entrance to the southbound off-ramp to junction 13 near Ennis.

It is understood both vehicles were travelling southbound when the collision occurred. The van left the motorway following the impact, overturned on its side and hit with a lighting pole.

The van driver is understood to have died instantly.

The driver of the lorry, who was uninjured, was interviewed by gardaí at the scene before being arrested.

The man's body was later removed to University Hospital Limerick where a post-mortem examination was due to be carried out.

Gardaí have appealed for any witnesses to the collision to come forward.

Irish Independent

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