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New crash tragedy 'brings back pain of losing my sons'

THE mother of two teenagers killed in a horrific crash a year ago has had the pain of the tragedy brought back.

For Sheila Breen, the latest carnage on our roads, in which Fergal Ronan and Brian Bradley died, was a haunting reminder of what happened to her family.

Ms Breen lost two of her sons Kevin (15) and David (17) on August 25 last year.

She said the news of the crash in Meath yesterday -- on August 23 -- brought all of last year's horrific memories back.

"I'm very sad to hear about it. It brings everything back. We've the anniversary mass on Thursday, because (Kevin and David) will be dead a year on Thursday," Sheila told the Herald.

"It's very hard. I will be thinking of them (the parents in Meath)."


"We're able to cope. I'm trying to keep busy. It'll be hard for them (the parents of the boys in Meath) to cope. I would know how they feel." She added: "I would say to them to pray and that's all. I go to Mass every Saturday night and it helps. I get Masses said for them as well."

Mr Bradley and Mr Ronan, both in their early 20s, died when the car they were travelling in hit a tree at around 2.05am on the Ratoath to Dunshauglin Road, outside Dunshaughlin.

The lifelong pals were returning from a night out when the 98-D registered Peugeot 106 went out of control and struck a tree.

The friends, who were both motoring enthusiasts, were preparing to return to college in Dublin shortly.

Mr Ronan, from Fairyhouse Lodge, and Mr Bradley, from Mullinam Lane, both in Ratoath, were well known and liked in the Co Meath village.

A local councillor said young people in the area are devastated by the tragedy.

"They all know each other from socialising in the area. They are quite shocked by it," said Fianna Fail's Nick Killian.

In Killarney, Co Kerry, where Sheila is from, similar scenes were played out a year ago.

She told the Herald she has met the parents of David's girlfriend Aine O'Riordan (15) who also died in the crash, and they will celebrate the anniversary masses together.

"It brings back all of the memories. We had the inquest already so we found out how they died in the crash," said Sheila, who is from Hazelwood Drive.

"I am in touch with Aine's parents. We have Aine's Mass on Saturday night in Castleisland," she added.

Fr Kevin McNamara, who was called to the scene of the crash last year, said the entire Killarney community would be thinking of the families of the crash victims in Meath.