Garda, teenager die in Mayo crash


Two investigations are underway into an early morning road collision which claimed the life of a garda and a 19-year-old local man outside Belmullet in north Mayo this morning.

The Garda Siochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) and the Garda Siochána are
conducting separate inquiries into the circumstances which led to the deaths of Garda Terry Dever (48), a father of three from Achill island, Co Mayo, and Stephen Conway (19), a single man from Inver, Co Mayo.

Garda Eneas McNulty, also from Achill, sustained injuries and was described as “comfortable” in hospital today, while a third garda who witnessed the collision was being treated for shock.

The collision occurred at about 5.50am, when Garda Dever and two of his colleagues were travelling from Achill island in two separate private cars to begin a 6am shift at Belmullet garda station where they have been based full-time.

One of the cars collided with Mr Conway’s car which is reported to have been travelling in the opposite direction. In a statement, the GSOC said that the three gardaí in two private cars “encountered a car coming in the opposite direction”.

“The first car, carrying one garda, narrowly avoided a collision with this vehicle. The second car, carrying two gardaí, was involved in a collision with the oncoming car,”the GSOC statement said.

“The driver of the oncoming car was fatally injured when his car collided with the car travelling in the opposite direction which was occupied by the two off-duty gardaí,”the GSOC said.

“He was removed to Mayo General Hospital in Castlebar. He was pronounced dead not long after the incident,”the GSOC said.

It is understood that arrangements were being made to transfer Garda Dever to Beaumont Hospital in Dublin when his condition deteriorated. He was very involved in his community and in sport and music in Saulia, Achill, where he lived with his wife Margaret, and three children, Liam, Alice and Turlough.

Mr Conway, who was youngest of son of Val and Kathleen Conway, had recently finished school and was working in a restaurant in Belmullet. He was nephew of Terence Conway, spokesman for Shell to Sea Mayo, but had no involvement in a protest at the Glengad site for the Corrib gas project on Saturday evening.

Achill-based Mayo county councillor Michael McNamara (FF) said that he expressed sincere sympathies to both families. He said that he knew Garda Dever personally through his extensive community activities.