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Wednesday 13 December 2017

Three men die on roads in horrific head-on smash

Colin Gleeson and Barry Duggan

THREE men were killed in a horrific head-on road crash last night. The collision between two cars occurred a few miles outside Newcastle West, Co Limerick, on the busy N21 route around 9pm.

Emergency services including paramedics, firemen and gardai rushed to the scene at Barnagh three miles outside Newcastle West when alerted by passing motorists.

The identities of the latest victims to die on the country's road have not yet been released.

All three victims are aged in their late 20s to early 30s and are believed to have been travelling in a Nissan car towards Newcastle West.

Their vehicle collided with an Opel car travelling in the opposite direction.

It is understood the three men are all from the west Limerick region. The driver of the Opel vehicle did not suffer life-threatening injuries.

It is believed nobody else was travelling in the Nissan car with the three men who died.

Three units of Limerick Fire and Rescue Service from Abbeyfeale, Newcastle West and Rathkeale attended the scene.

The main Limerick-Killarney road was expected to remain closed overnight as emergency workers remained at the scene. Diversions were put in place for all motorists.

Investigations into the cause of the fatal collision will continue today.

Meanwhile, the family of a motorcyclist who was killed during a race yesterday after coming off his bike at high speed have said he died doing what he loved most.

Victor Gilmore (43), from Ballymoney, Co Antrim, was racing in the 600cc class of the Killalane Road Races near Skerries, north Dublin, when the accident occurred.

He is the second motorcyclist to be killed in a racing competition in the north Co Dublin town in the past three months. Miles Byrne was killed on July 3 during the annual Skerries road race.

"Sadly, he lost his life doing what he loved most," said a spokesman for his family last night. "He will be dearly missed by his family, team and road racing family."

Mr Gilmore had three children named Craig, Jodie and Nicole. He was the son of Jim and Mabel. His family has requested privacy.

A spokesman for Loughshinny Motorcycle Club -- organisers of the race -- said they extended their "deepest sympathies" to Mr Gilmore's family and large circle of friends for their "sad loss".


A trackside marshal was also injured in yesterday's accident but his injuries are not believed to be serious.

A garda spokesman said the accident happened in a race at 1.20pm. Mr Gilmore was rushed to Beaumont Hospital in Dublin where he was pronounced dead.

It's understood he was an experienced racer who competed for the first time in 1996.

He was involved in another serious accident on the Southern 100 track on the Isle of Man in 2008.

He was forced to curtail his season after suffering injuries in that race, while his motorcycle was unsalvageable. In 2004, Mr Gilmore told how he arrived on a crash scene after the death of another motorcycle racer. Andy Wallace (25) was killed after crashing on the first corner of a track in Co Antrim.

"I saw dust and oil all over the road," said Mr Gilmore at the time.

"There were riders sitting on the ground and bikes all over the place. I saw one rider lose control as his bike catapulted across a field.

"But fortunately I am OK and I believe that's the same for many of the other riders involved. I am sorry to hear of a rider's death," he added.

There have been a number of fatalities during motorsports events this year.

Motorcyclist Miles Byrne was killed on July 3 during the Skerries road race, while co-driver Thomas Maguire from Longwood, Co Meath, lost his life in the Topaz Donegal International Rally, in late June.

Stephen Larkin, a 27-year-old from Co Armagh, was killed in July -- while participating in the practice session for the Kells road race.

Irish Independent

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