Dead boy (11) was passenger in stolen car driven by 16 year old

THE Cork boy who was killed at the weekend in a stolen car was named last night as Christopher O'Flynn (11), of Churchfield place…

THE Cork boy who was killed at the weekend in a stolen car was named last night as Christopher O'Flynn (11), of Churchfield place West.

Gardai at Gurranebraher said two youths stole a Nissan Primera car in the area at 8 p.m. on Saturn day. The boy who died was a passenger in the car, driven by a 16 year old friend, when it went out of control 10 minutes later in Holyhill and crashed into fencing adjoining the Apple Computers plant.

The boy was dead at the scene and his body was removed to the Mercy Hospital. The driver, who alias not been named for legal reasons, was taken by ambulance to Cork University Hospital. His condition was said to be serious but stable.

Last night, Mr Tom O'Flynn, the dead boy's uncle, said his nephew was "a happy go lucky type who always had a smile".


"He was not a joyrider, We now that. He was a lovely kid. That car was going around the streets; he just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was young, he took a spin, that's what happened," said Mr O'Flynn. He added that the boy's mother, Ms Veronica O'Flynn, his sister Gilliane (13), and brother, James (5), were shattered by the news and in a state of shock.

"You can imagine what the mood in this house is like. Everyone is devastated. My sister is being comforted by friends and trying to make arrangements for the funeral. Christopher had a heart of gold. It's a terrible tragedy for our family, that's really all we can tell you," he said.

Father Paul O'Donoghue, who visited both the family of Christopher O'Flynn and the car driver after the accident, said the parents "of both boys were going through a difficult time and were horrified at what had happened.

"Ms O'Flynn told me that she hadn't sent Christopher out to do this. He had not been involved in joyriding, she had no idea about what he was at. The family is devastated. So is the family of the driver - neither had he a history of joyriding. People in the area are shocked at the loss of such a young life.

"I visited the 16 year old hospital this morning. He's a good lad, and it was unlike him to be involved in this type of incident. He was heavily sedated when I called, but I know that when he's better he is going to be very remorseful about what has happened. Before, we had joyriding incidents involving 18 to 20 year olds. It's awful to think that children as young as 11 years of age are now getting involved," said Father O'Flynn.

Gardai in Gurranebraher, where the epidemic of stealing cars prompted the opening of Spike Island as a prison for young offenders some years ago, said the latest incident appeared to be an isolated one.

Two years ago, an 18 year old man was killed when a stolen car in which he was a passenger crashed in the north side of the city. Christopher O'Flynn is the youngest person to have been killed in a stolen car in Cork.

"Five years ago, we were going through a difficult time," a garda working in the area said. "Some roads were being used as race tracks by the joyriders and were considered no go areas by the residents living in those areas of the north side. We got that problem under control, and many young people were sent for detention. Of late, it's been relatively quiet, but joyriding doesn't go away. It's particularly disturbing, however, to see a young lad of 11 years involved. What a tragic loss of life."

Christopher O'Flynn's cousin, Mr Paul Murphy (18), died after an overdose of ecstasy tablets at a Cork nightclub in 1995.