Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Dermot Farrell has paid tribute to the bravery of the priest killed in the Co Cork bus crash, who he said sacrificed himself to save his secretary.
Locals reportedly told media that Fr Con Cronin was having lunch with a woman in Monkstown, and pushed her out of the way of the Bus Éireann bus as it lost control and veered towards them on Tuesday.
Speaking on RTÉ Radio 1, Archbishop Farrell said it was a “very sad day”.
“Could I sympathise with Fr Con Cronin and his family on the tragic death of Fr Cronin and pay tribute to his bravery, where he sacrificed himself to save his secretary.
“But also just pay tribute to all my priest colleagues on this feast day of St John Vianney, the patron saint of priests.”
Postmortem examinations are due to be carried out on Wednesday on the bodies of Fr Cronin and the bus driver who died.
The driver of the bus, Mark Wills, who lived in Ballincollig, is believed to have suffered a medical trauma which caused him to lose control of the bus.
A candlelight vigil was held last night and prayers will be offered in Passage West and Monkstown for the two victims of the tragedy.
Fr Cronin was originally from the Borlin Valley near Bantry and public representatives say he is a huge loss to the Cork Lower Harbour area where he was very well liked in the local parish.
Fianna Fáil councillor Seamus McGrath paid tribute to Fr Cronin, saying:
“It’s absolutely heartbreaking, it’s shocking news.
“He is someone who gave so much of his life in the community over the last eight or nine years, a very kindhearted person and a very generous person.
“For his life to be ended in such a tragic way, people are just numb and very very shocked at the news, and saddened.”
Gardaí in Togher are appealing for any witnesses to the fatal incident to contact them or anyone who may have been travelling on the Strand Road between 1.15 and 1.45pm on Tuesday to come forward.