Two young friends die in Longford road crash


THE DEATHS of two young men in a single-car crash caused shock in a rural Co Longford community yesterday.

Gavin Doyle (22) from Kenagh and Tom “Woody” Kearney (24) from Ardagh were pronounced dead at the scene of the incident on the Kenagh to Longford Road at about 12.30am.

The car’s two other occupants – also in their early 20s and living locally – were injured and taken to the Midland Regional Hospital at Mullingar.

It is understood the four friends had been travelling from Kenagh to Longford town for a night out when their Honda Civic crashed into a ditch at Craane near Ballycormack on the R397.

Garda Insp Paul Cuttle described the incident as “an awful tragedy for the two communities of Kenagh and Ardagh where the two young men are from.

“At the scene two young males in their early 20s were pronounced dead.

“A female in the car was removed to Mullingar hospital. Initially she was believed to be critical, fortunately she is now classified as stable.”

It’s understood the fourth occupant of the car was released from hospital in Mullingar a number of hours after the crash.

Cllr Paddy Belton (FG) visited some of the families shortly after the crash.

“It’s every parent’s nightmare,” he said. He said the Doyle family, who own a pub in Kenagh, are devastated.

According to Mr Belton, Gavin Doyle worked part-time at Bord na Móna and also helped behind the bar at his father Brian’s pub in Kenagh.

Tom “Woody” Kearney worked at an auto engineering firm near his home in Ardagh.

“They were the usual young lads, fond of cars and both mechanically minded,” Cllr Belton said.

He said the woman passenger was fortunate to have survived the accident.

“The doctors said she was the luckiest girl to escape,” he remarked.

A short distance from the crash scene, Tom Maguire of Maguires’ Shop in Stonepark said “everybody woke this morning with the sad news of the major tragedy last night and everyone in the area is in shock.

“It’s a typical rural country area, everybody knows everybody,” he explained.

“I have to say that those lads that were killed are in and out of the shop every day and you wouldn’t hear more than a whisper out of them, nice quiet young, young fellas, loved their cars, loved their bit of fun,” Mr Maguire added.

Insp Cuttle is calling for the public’s assistance with the Garda investigation.

“We are appealing for anyone that was on this, the Kenagh Longford Road, last night [Thursday] between 12.15am and 12.45am, if they could contact us in Longford Garda station at (043) 33 50570.

“What we want to do is build a picture of what happened, we owe that to the families of the two deceased and the families of the two that were injured,” added Insp Cuttle.