Two young men who died in Co Mayo crash are named

Vehicle left road and struck tree on outskirts of Ballina at around 11.15pm on Monday

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A crash in Ballina, Co Mayo, has claimed the lives of two young local men including one who was home on holidays. A third man was hospitalised with serious injuries.

Those who died were named locally as Jack O’Hora (20) formerly from Castleconnor, Co Sligo, a soldier home on leave from overseas duties with the British Army, and Ricky Langdon (28) from St Patrick’s Estate, Ballina.

A third male in the vehicle which crashed into a tree on Monday night, was seriously injured. He is recovering at Mayo University Hospital where his condition was said to be stable on Tuesday night.

The impact occurred as the Audi A6 they were travelling towards Ballina in crashed at around 11pm.

Ballina based Supt Joe Doherty, who visited the crash scene close to the Costcutter Store on the Killala Road, expressed his deepest sympathy to the families of the deceased.

Appealing for witnesses Supt Doherty asked any motorists with dashcam footage to come forward.

Jack O’Hora played football with Castleconnor GAA Club in west Sligo before joining the British Army and was highly regarded locally. He received his secondary education at the local St Muredach’s College.

It is understood he had been staying in Ballina while home on leave from military duties.

Priests of Ballina parish, in a joint statement, said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and other relatives of the deceased”.

The stretch of road where the collision occurred is not a blackspot by any means, according to Killala Road resident and Independent councillor Gerry Ginty. “There’s a curve on the road but it’s by no means dangerous. There have been a few minor accidents there in the past,” he said.

Mr Ginty described harrowing scenes when he arrived at the location of the crash, not far from his home, around midnight. “Twenty or thirty youngsters were milling about. Many were crying. Nobody knew what to do. The scenes were heartrending, the likes of which I would never want to see again in my lifetime”.

“Around midnight I heard my dogs barking”, he recalled, “I looked out thinking there might be somebody around the house. When I saw blue lights flashing I though there was a garda checkpoint.

“But when I heard the ambulance sirens I knew there was something wrong.

“Up to 30 young people had congregated. They obviously knew those in the car. They seemed to be in a state of absolute shock. I asked them what happened but they didn’t seem to know.

“People did not realise the full horror of what happened until this morning when they found out that two young fellows had died.”

The Ballina to Killala road remained closed for much of Tuesday as forensic collision investigators checked the crash scene. Local diversions were put in place.

Gardaí for appealing for anyone who witnessed the collision to contact them in Ballina at 096-20560 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.

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