Saturday 21 September 2019

Three people die in accidents after a black weekend on the country's roads

Crash victim: Eileen Battersby was former critic at the Irish Times
Crash victim: Eileen Battersby was former critic at the Irish Times
Ian Begley

Ian Begley

A 31-year-old man and a 60-year-old woman were killed in two separate road accidents in a black weekend on the country's roads.

The former literary correspondent of the 'Irish Times', Eileen Battersby, passed away after a car crash at Sheephouse in Co Meath on Saturday about 2pm. The single-vehicle accident happened on the Oldbridge to Donore road, 4km outside Drogheda.

Ms Battersby (60) was taken to Our Lady of Lourdes hospital but lost her fight for life last night. Another female passenger in the car was treated in hospital for her injuries.

Ms Battersby joined the 'Irish Times' in 1988 and left the newspaper in July this year.

Paul O'Neill, the editor of the 'Irish Times', described her as having a "distinctive voice, passion, insight and sharp critical faculties". She had made "an immeasurable contribution" to the paper's literary coverage over three decades, he said.

Culture Minister Josepha Madigan also paid tribute to Ms Battersby;

"I was very saddened to hear the news of the passing of Eileen Battersby. 

"Eileen was an immensely well-regarded arts critic and journalist – winning numerous awards during her career including the National Arts Journalist of the Year award – as well as publishing a number of works of both fiction and non-fiction.

"She will be greatly missed.  I would also like to offer my sincere condolences to Eileen’s family and friends at this sad time."

Meanwhile, a 31-year-old man died when his car hit a tree in Co Laois. The single-­vehicle crash happened at Ballybrophy, Borris-in-Ossory, about 9.10am yesterday.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene and his body removed to the Midland Regional Hospital in Portlaoise. Gardaí investigating the crash have appealed for witnesses and anyone travelling on the R435 Borris-in-Ossory to Rathdowney Road between 8.30am and 9.30am on Sunday.

The two accidents came after a 24-year-old male lost his life in a car crash in Co Meath.

The young man, named locally as Dylan Ward, was killed when the car in which he was travelling collided with another about 8pm on Friday.

The crash at Boynabought, Kilmainhawood in Kells, shocked family and friends.

The driver of the car, also a 24-year-old man, and the motorist in the other vehicle were both taken by ambulance to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.

Mr Ward has been described by his friends as a talented songwriter and actor.

The Liberties College Performance Course expressed its devastation in a statement about its former student.

"During his time with us, Dylan proved to be a very fine actor whose love and passion for theatre and performance was infectious to be around

"He approached everything with great sense of humour and a wry smile on his face.

"Dylan was someone who strove to constantly improve and perfect his craft, he was an expert at putting fellow actors as ease, always wanting the best for everyone. An absolute pleasure to have known and to have worked with.

Meanwhile, gardaí continue to appeal for witnesses following a hit-and-run in Santry, Dublin, last week, leaving one elderly man in a serious condition and another with minor injuries.

About 9.40pm last Wedesday, a motorcyclist travelling on the Swords Road hit the two pedestrians, both in their 80s. The driver then fled the scene.

Irish Independent

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