Gardaí taking DNA samples in bid to identify Dungarvan crash dead

No official comment on identities of three men - but two have been named locally

Gardaí at the scene of the crash on the N72 outside Dungarvan, Co Waterford. Photograph: Patrick Browne

Gardaí at the scene of the crash on the N72 outside Dungarvan, Co Waterford. Photograph: Patrick Browne

 

Gardaí investigating a two-car collision which claimed the lives of three young men in Co Waterford have begun taking DNA samples from relatives of those they believe died in the crash as they continue to try to identify them.

Supt Michael Lacey of Dungarvan Garda station said he is hoping gardaí will progress the identification process using DNA samples as quickly as possible.

Deputy State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis concluded his post-mortem examinations of the three deceased at University Hospital Waterford on Monday evening.

While gardaí have made no official comment on the identities of the three men, two of them have been named locally as Eamon Dixon (22), from Abbeyside in Dungarvan, and Michael Tobin, a father-of-three in his mid-30s, originally from Ring but living in Cappoquin, Co Waterford.

Mr Dixon’s mother Lorraine Nash posted a poignant tribute to her son on her Facebook page alongside a picture of the young man. “My beautiful handsome boy... Devastated beyond words...you were my first born...if I could have u back is all I want. XXXX,” posted Ms Nash.

Not named

Locals in Dungarvan have not named the third person, but The Irish Times understands the focus of Garda inquiries is now on a 39-year-old man from Cork who had been living in rented accommodation in Blackpool on the city’s northside but may have moved recently to Cappoquin.

It’s understood gardaí took DNA samples from relatives of the man, who live in Mahon, on Cork’s southside, and they have been sent to Forensic Science Ireland for analysis along with samples taken from family members of the two Waterford men.

The Garda focus on the two Waterford men as being probable occupants of the car followed a statement by a witness who saw and recognised the two men in the VW Golf earlier on Sunday morning before it was involved in the fatal collision on N72 outside Dungarvan.

The Garda investigation has also involved examination of phone records for the two Waterford men identified by the witness, to try to establish who they were in contact with on Saturday night and Sunday morning in a bid to find out the driver’s identity.

The three men died when the VW Golf, which was registered to the Corkman, was in collision with a Citroen Picasso people carrier on a stretch of the N72 known as the Military Road which skirts north of Dungarvan at about 10am on Sunday.

The VW Golf was driving west in the direction of Cappoquin and Lismore and the Citroen was heading east towards Waterford.

Quick response

Gardaí and the emergency services responded quickly to the crash and firefighters from Waterford County Fire Service managed to bring the fire in the VW Golf under control, but it took some time before it was safe to recover all three casualties from the badly burned vehicle.

The occupants of the Citroen Picasso, Mary Bermingham (37) and her partner Gary Fenton (35), and her four children, ranging in age from 6 to 14, were all seriously injured in the collision, and both Ms Bermingham and Mr Fenton and a nine year old girl were airlifted to Cork University Hospital.

The family are from North Cork and it’s understood a second child was also brought to CUH for treatment. The four underwent emergency surgery and their condition is described as critical but stable, while the other two children were taken by ambulance to University Hospital Waterford.

Both children taken to University Hospital Waterford were described as having serious but non-life-threatening injuries and it’s understood a 12-year-old boy was discharged from the hospital on Monday morning following treatment.