Three women killed in Co Limerick collision are named
‘It is very sad. Last night people were ringing each other. It would make you cry nearly’
A Garda vehicle near the scene of the collison which claimed the lives of three woman at Loughill, Co Limerick. Photograph: Brendan Gleeson
A third occupant, another woman in her 70s, has been taken to University Hospital Limerick with what gardaí described as serious but non-life threatening injuries.
Three women in their 70s who died following a two-car collision in Co Limerick on Thursday evening have been named.
Mary Bradley from Pallaskenry, Co Limerick was the driver and sole occupant in one of the cars. It is believed she may have suffered a heart attack before veering across the road and hitting the second car.
She was pronounced dead at the scene in Loughill.
The driver of the second car was Mary Noonan, the sister of former minister for finance Michael Noonan. She was pronounced dead at the scene, as was one of her passengers, Mary Costello.
A third occupant of this car, another woman in her 70s, has been taken to University Hospital Limerick with what gardaí described as serious but non-life threatening injuries.An Air Corps helicopter was used to airlift this woman to hospital.
The collision occurred at 6.30pm on Thursday on what was described locally as a straight section of the N69 just outside Loughill village.
Local Fine Gael councillor John Sheahan said there was “huge shock and anguish” at the news of the fatalities.
“There is a palpable sense of gloom in the area tonight and people are so saddened and shocked at such a tragic loss of life. It’s a very straight stretch of road,” he said.
“We are facing into a bank holiday now and in light of tonight’s crash. I want to urge people to please drive safely and not become another statistic.”
Fr Tom Crawford, parish priest at the nearby village of Glin, said he came across fire brigades, gardaí and people at the side of the road at the scene of the accident as he was travelling home from a meeting.
He said the scene was unreal. “Two cars smashed by the side of the road, or at least one of them anyway.
“I just did all we can do in those kind of scenes - pray over them as well as I could.”
Fr Crawford said it seemed to have been terrible collision on a straight stretch of road with a lay-by at the side.
“It wasn’t as if there was a dangerous part of the road,” he told RTÉ Radio.
“You come across something like this rarely enough, but when you do you are speechless, you are helpless. You are looking for something you can do but all you can do is stand by and let the emergency services do what they do. They were very busy trying to rescue the one who was alive.”
The parish priest said he was shocked by the crash. “You wake up thinking life will go on like it did yesterday. But life is so fragile. You never know from moment to moment.”
Locals in Loughill spoke of their devastation at learning of the deaths.
“We are absolutely shaken,” said one woman on Friday morning. “I knew the ladies and I am just stunned. We are all very upset, and really can’t talk about it at all. It is desperately upsetting.”
A man said: “It is very sad. Last night people were ringing each other. It would make you cry nearly.”
Another added: “It is just a cloud over everybody, in all the parishes around.”
Gardaí have appealed for anyone with information in relation to the collision or anyone who may have dash cam footage to contact Newcastle West Garda Station on (069) 20650, the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.
Thursday’s collision brings the number of people killed on roads in the State so far this year to 66. There have been nine fatalities this month, six of these deaths were in the last week.
A woman in her 70s died in a single-vehicle road traffic incident in Co Longford on Wednesday, and a father and son - Vincent and Sully Rossi - died following a crash in Co Offaly on Monday.