Co-driver who died while competing in Clare Stages Rally is named

Damian Fleming (37) was a ‘highly experienced’ co-driver who had competed in over 150 events

A rally co-driver who died during a motor racing event in Co Clare on Sunday afternoon has been named as Damian Fleming (37).

Mr Fleming was fatally injured during the fourth stage of the Clare Stages Rally at around 1.30pm. The crash occurred at Glencolumbkille in the Carron area.

The driver of a second car involved in the collision was transferred to University Hospital Limerick to receive treatment. He is in a stable condition and his injuries are not believed to be life threatening.

The rally was halted following the incident.


The sport’s governing body, Motorsport Ireland, said Mr Fleming, from Kilcummin, Co Kerry, was a “highly experienced” co-driver who had competed in over 150 events since 2006.

“The thoughts of everyone at Motorsport Ireland and within the wider motorsport community are with the Fleming family, Clare Motor Club and the members of the motorsport community who were present at the scene who reacted so quickly and professionally to the incident,” it said, in a statement.

“Motorsport Ireland will conduct a full investigation with the relevant authorities into today’s events to establish how this accident occurred.”

Killarney and District Motor Club, where Mr Fleming was a member, said its “thoughts and prayers are with Damian’s family and friends at this very sad and difficult time”.

It added: “Our thoughts also go out to the competitors who were on the scene, the medical and emergency personnel that attended the incident along with members of Clare Motor Club.

“We wish a speedy recovery to the competitor who was hospitalised as a result of this incident. We would appeal to members of the public not to share any footage of this tragic accident online.”

A Garda spokesman earlier confirmed that a male passenger of one vehicle was fatally injured and pronounced dead at the scene. He said a postmortem will take place in due course.

“The male driver of the second vehicle was conveyed to University Hospital Limerick for treatment for injuries believed to be non-life-threatening. The second driver and passenger, both males, were uninjured.”

Motorsport Ireland said its affiliated clubs were recognised internationally for operating to “the highest standards of motorsport safety for competitors and spectators in line with the best practice of the FIA [the international governing body for motorsport].”

Traffic diversions were put in place as the road where the crash happened was closed in advance of an examination by Garda forensic collision investigators.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Ennis Garda station on (065) 684 8100, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda station.

Earlier this year, two men died while competing in a rally in Co Sligo. Dáire Maguire and Gene McDonald were fatally injured when their Ford Escort Mark 2 hit a wall near Ballymote in July.

Three other people have died on the State’s roads since Saturday night, including a boy in Co Donegal, a motorcyclist in Tallaght, Dublin and a pedestrian in Co Kerry.