Irish sprinter Craig Lynch dies in Co Meath road crash

Athlete (29) represented Ireland at the European Championships in 2016

Tributes have been paid to athlete Craig Lynch who died following a road crash in Co Meath on Sunday.

The 29-year-old sprinter died in a single-vehicle crash on Sunday morning after his car hit a wall on the R163 at Headfort in Kells.

Mr Lynch represented Ireland at the European Championships in 2016 where he ran the 400m event. He was also part of the Ireland team that ran in the 2015 World Relay Championships and won the national indoor 60m title in 2016.

Originally from Shercock in Co Cavan, he was a science teacher in Eureka Secondary School in Kells.

A statement from Shercock AC running club described Mr Lynch as “one of our most talented athletes”.

"Our thoughts and sympathies are with his parents, brothers, sisters, daughter, fiancée and all family members, indeed the whole Shercock community at this sad time," said the club in a post on its Facebook page.

International track and field athlete David Gillick paid tribute to Mr Lynch on Twitter, describing him as “a truly great guy with a brilliant outlook on life, a terrible loss to such a young life, he will be missed by so many”.

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan, Monaghan and North Meath Niamh Smyth tweeted that the local community was in shock following the young athlete's death and described Mr Lynch as "a national figure in the world of athletics".

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross, and Minister of State Brendan Griffin, TD, also paid tribute, saying in a joint statement: “Craig was an extremely talented athlete who represented his country with great pride.

“We were extremely saddened to hear of the tragic death of Craig. Our sympathies and prayers are with Craig’s family, Shercock AC and the greater athletic community at this very sad time.”

Psychologists on Monday visited the Meath secondary school where he worked to help students deal with the tragic death of their teacher.

In a statement the school said: “We are deeply saddened by the untimely death of our teacher, colleague and friend Craig Lynch.

“This is a terrible tragedy for his family, our school and the community.

“The teachers have been helping students to deal with this tragic event. Psychologists from the National Educational Pyschological Service (NEPS) are in the school advising teachers in their efforts to assist our students.

“At this difficult time, our sympathy and thoughts are with his family and friends.”