Gale thought responsible for fatal road accident in Carlow


A SEVERE blast of wind may have been the cause of a road tragedy outside Ballon, Co Carlow, yesterday, in which two young local men died and another two were taken to hospital.

The accident occurred at about 4.30 a.m. on the main CarlowWexford road. A garda spokesman said strong winds may have blown the car over before it fell into a ditch. The accident happened on an exposed stretch of roadway.

The victims, both back seat passengers, were Mr Martin Swayne (31), married and father of two infant daughters, from Closh, Ballon, and Mr Fiaich O'Byrne (28), from Ballykealy, Ballon.

The car driver, Mr Paul Kavanagh (21), a student, from Ballon, was injured in the crash as was front seat passenger, Mr Shane Flynn (22), also a student, who lives at Ballincross. The men were returning from a disco in Meadowlands, Bunclody, Co Wexford.

Mr Swayne and Mr O'Byrne died instantly. Mr Kavanagh was removed to St Luke's County Hospital, Kilkenny, suffering from chest and rib injuries, while Mr Flynn is a patient in Ardkeen Hospital, Waterford. His injuries include a broken ankle.

Mr Swayne was secretary of the Ballon GAA club and played Gaelic football with the Ballon intermediate and Na Piarsaigh area team which contested this year's Carlow SFC semi final against Eire Og, the reigning Leinster club champions.

He worked as an engineering teacher at Hacketstown VS, Co Carlow. Mr O'Byrne worked on the family farm and also worked at weekends in Kavanagh's pub, Ballon.

Both bodies were removed to the morgue at Carlow District Hospital where post mortems will be carried out today.