Storm Ophelia: Third victim killed by falling tree after leaving work early

Two drivers die when cars hit by trees, third while clearing fallen tree with chainsaw

Speaking in Sydney, President Michael D. Higgins has offered his condolences to the families of the three people who were killed by Storm Ophelia. Video: Simon Carswell/Bryan O'Brien


One of the three victims of Storm Ophelia died when a tree fell on his car as he travelled home early from work.

Fintan Goss was a married man and father of two young children from Ravensdale, Co Louth. His car was struck by a falling tree at Ravensdale on the old Dublin to Belfast main road at about 2.45pm as Storm Ophelia raged.

Louth TD for Fine Gael Peter Fitzpatrick, said: “I know Fintan personally, he was a very good person, a lovely fella,”

The chairman of Dundalk Municipal District Council, John McGahon, said: “Fintan and the Goss family are extremely well regarded in the community. He will be greatly missed by his friends, family and the local community in Ravensdale. Our thoughts are with his family at this terrible time.”

Clare O’Neill (58) from near Aglish, Co Waterford, and Michael Pyke (31) from Co Tipperary died during Storm Ophelia on Monday.
Clare O’Neill (58) from near Aglish, Co Waterford, and Michael Pyke (31) from Co Tipperary died during Storm Ophelia on Monday.

Clare O’Neill (58), a nurse from near Aglish, Co Waterford died when the branch of a tree fell on her car and crashed through the windscreen at about 11.40am on the R671 road between the villages of Clashmore and Aglish.

Ms O’Neill was originally from Co Cork and she had worked as an oncology nurse for more than 30 years. She recently worked with Cork ARC cancer support service , based in Youghal.

Ms O’Neill’s mother, who is in her 70s, was a passenger in the car. The incident happened less than a kilometre from Ms O’Neill’s home, 2km from Aglish.

“She was a very jolly woman, very helpful,” local shopkeeper Richard Hurley said. “It’s a big shock. It’s a miserable morning, a woman like that in such a tragic accident.”

Michael Pyke (31) was killed when he was using a chainsaw to clear a fallen tree between Ardfinnan and Cahir in south Tipperary at about 12.30pm.

It is believed he went to cut up a tree that had fallen on a road about 3km from his home, between Ballylooby and Cahir, but was injured by a falling branch.Mr Pyke, who was single, lived at St Joseph’s Terrace in Ardfinnan with his father Tony, a retired council worker. His mother is deceased.


“It’s a devastating tragedy for the family of this young man,” said Independent TD Mattie McGrath, who knows the family.

“They’re a hard working family and for his life to be taken like that is just shocking. It would bring home to us the dangers of going out into the wind.”