Tributes paid to tragic pupil Seán
"A POPULAR and well-respected student, held with great regard by staff and students alike."
That was the heartfelt tribute made by Denis Healy, principal of Davis College in Mallow, following the tragic death of Leaving Certificate student Seán O'Neill in a road traffic accident last Thursday.
The 17-year-old from Scart, Ballyclough was driving home from school along the Lisgriffin Road when the single vehicle accident occurred at around 4.10pm at Drumdowney, approximately 2km from Ashgrove Cross.
The young man was fatally injured when the vehicle apparently lost control, overturned and struck a ditch.
Emergency services were on the scene within minutes but were unable to stabilise Seán's condition. Tragically, he was pronounced dead before he could be transferred to hospital.
Three other people, one male and two females all in their late teens and Leaving Cert students at Davis College, were also travelling in the car when the accident happened.
They were uninjured but were treated at the scene for shock.
The Lisgriffin Road was closed for a period of time following the accident to facilitate an inspection of the scene by the garda forensic examiners.
Investigating gardai are appealing for witnesses to the accident or anyone who may have been on the Lisgriffin Road between 4pm and 4.20pm on the day of the accident to contact them in Mallow on 022 31450 or on the garda confidential line on 1800 666111.
Seán was laid to rest at the cemetery in Ballyclough on Monday following a funeral mass at St John the Baptist Church.
Mr Healy said the entire community of Davis College was devastated at the sudden death of the young sixth-year student.
"Our hearts go out to Seán's family at this time. Seán was a popular and well-respected student, who was held with great regard by staff and students alike," said Mr Healy.
"Seán represented Ireland with distinction at international fly-fishing competitions and his achievements were viewed with great pride by the school. Our thoughts are with Seán's family and all who will mourn his loss so deeply," he added.
Mr Healy said the school would be offering every support to Seán's friends and peers, and would continue to do so with representatives from both the National Educational Psychological Service and the Childhood and Adolescence Mental Health Service placed at the school.
The school held a prayer service conducted by Chaplain Fr Jim Moore and students participated in the funeral liturgy in accordance with the wishes of Sean's family.
"The management and staff of Davis College extend their heartfelt sympathy to Seán's family. May he rest in peace," said Mr Healy.
Maurice Willis of the Mallow Trout Anglers club, of which Seán was a member, described the teenager as a lovely person.
"Seán was a very quiet, unassuming young man who was always willing to learn. He was a great fisherman, winning an All-Ireland championship and representing Ireland at two world championships," said Mr Willis.
"He was greatly liked and respected within angling circles, something very much in evidence by the number of fishermen who attended his removal.
"Seán will be greatly missed by all who knew him and our thoughts are with his family at this time," he added.