Limerick crash: Tributes paid to two ‘exemplary’ agricultural students killed when car hit wall

Darragh Dullea (20), from Co Cork, and Cillian Kirwan (19), from Co Kilkenny, died in a Co Limerick crash on N69 at Ballyengland on Tuesday

Darragh Dulles and Cillian Kirwan

Tributes have been paid to two young men killed on Tuesday in a road crash in Co Limerick in which two others were injured.

The four men were students at the Salesian Agricultural College in Pallaskenry, where they were studying agricultural mechanisation. They were travelling in a car that struck a wall on the N69 at Ballyengland near Askeaton at around 7.25pm.

Darragh Dullea (20), from Clonakilty, Co Cork and Cillian Kirwan (19), from Piltown, Co Kilkenny, were killed in the crash.

The driver and a third passenger, who are from Charleville, Co Cork and Birr, Co Offaly, were taken by ambulance to University Hospital Limerick, where they were treated for non-life threatening injuries.


Derek O’Donoghue, Salesian College principal, said: “I would like to send my condolences to the families of the two students that have tragically lost their lives, and our thoughts and prayers are with their families and their friends and classmates, and I also wish the two students who are in hospital a speedy recovery.”

Mr O’Donoghue said the four men returned to reside at the college in January “after eight months placement, so they are really just five weeks back here in college and are in the final year of their programme – and all four are from rural Ireland”.

“It’s very unfortunate, they are all in their 20s and all second-year students, they were studying the higher cert in agricultural mechanisation which involves studies around the mechanics, operation and maintenance of farm machinery, such as tractors.”

The course is run jointly by Salesian College and Technical University of the Shannon (TUS).

Mr O’Donoghue described the four as “exemplary students, hard working, diligent, and all had really good careers ahead of them – two still have obviously, but unfortunately two lives have been cut very very short”. He said staff from TUS were providing counselling and other psychological supports to their classmates.

He added: “The four occupants of the car were all on the same course together and they were all residential students here in Pallaskenry. It’s a much tighter knit community of students than the day students, because not alone are they in college together during the day, but they are together by night.”

Adam Teskey, a local Fine Gael councillor, offered his sympathies to the four men’s families. He said the local community had been left “absolutely stunned” by the incident.

“Two families have suffered the ultimate loss of life and for that I want to express my sincere sympathies to them,” he said, adding that the N69 is “a dangerous road that is no stranger to fatal road collisions”.

He paid tribute to the first responders who had assited the men in “what was a difficult situation for all at the scene”.

The bodies of the two deceased were removed from the crash scene to the mortuary at University Hospital Limerick, where postmortems will take place. A technical examination of the crash scene was to be carried out by Garda forensic collision investigators.

Elsewhere, a man in his 40s is in a critical condition after a car hit two pedestrians in Co Mayo. The incident occurred on Lord Edward Street in Ballina on Tuesday at 6.25pm. A male pedestrian, aged in his 40s, was being treated at Mayo University Hospital, as was a child, whose injuries were understood not to be life-threatening

Gardaí are appealing to anyone who may have seen either incident to contact them.

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Jade Wilson

Jade Wilson

Jade Wilson is a reporter for The Irish Times