Saturday 24 March 2018

Tributes to senior Army officer killed in accident

Lieutenant Colonel Jack Griffin (Photo: Ní Riain Photography, Thurles)
Lieutenant Colonel Jack Griffin (Photo: Ní Riain Photography, Thurles)

Sam Griffin

Tributes have been paid to a senior officer in the Defence Forces who has died in a tragic road accident.

Lieutenant Colonel Jack ­Griffin (47), known locally in his home town of Thurles, Co Tipperary as Jackie, died on Saturday afternoon when he was struck by a car at Turtulla Cross just outside Thurles.

He served on multiple ­overseas missions with the ­Defence Forces and was also heavily involved with the Thurles Sarsfields GAA club where, just last week, he helped guide the senior hurlers to county championship success.

He received treatment at the scene of the accident by paramedics and was rushed to South Tipperary General Hospital. However, he died of his injuries.

The male driver (32) and three children in the car were not injured in the incident.

He was a lieutenant ­colonel in the Defence Forces and served in Africa and the ­Middle East and was most recently based in Brussels where worked with other EU military staff.

His friend and colleague Commandant Seán Ó Fáharta, a Defence Forces spokesman, said Lt Col Griffin "epitomised the values and ethos of the Defence Forces of loyalty, integrity and courage".

He added: "He was a great leader and would never shirk responsibility. He was hugely admired and our thoughts are with his wife Trish and three children."

Lt Col Griffin played, and then worked as a coach with Thurles Sarsfields, where he was a selector. Sarsfields club secretary Thomas Callanan paid tribute to his commitment and dedication to the club.

"Jackie would have come up through the ranks. He would have won a county minor hurling title in 1985 and then would have progressed and played as a senior," said Mr Callanan.

"His Army background lent itself to him getting involved in terms of physically preparing teams and in the last few years he was involved with the senior team when they won the two county finals," he added.

Councillor Jackie Cahill said the whole town "was in shock" following the tragic death.

Irish Independent

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