Three friends killed in crash after day at Listowel races


GARDAÍ ARE appealing for information after three local men were killed, and seven others were injured in a collision between two vehicles near Newcastle West in west Limerick on Sunday night.

It was confirmed yesterday that the dead, all friends, were returning in a hackney cab people carrier from their day out at the Listowel races. The crash occurred at about 9.10pm, on an old section of the N21, three miles from Newcastle West on the main road from Abbeyfeale.

The deceased were named yesterday as Richard Feury (37), a butcher at Griffin’s Butchers in Newcastle West, who was married with one child; Tom Murphy (32), a single man, who worked at Pallas Foods, a specialist food company in Newcastle West; and Thomas Holmes (32), a single painter and decorator. Michael Murphy, brother of Thomas Murphy, survived the crash.

The section of the N21 at Garryduff, where the crash occurred, is shortly after the scenic Barnagh gap viewing area over east county Limerick, and where the road narrows for a section towards Newcastle West.

The deceased were passengers, along with two others and the cab driver, in a large Nissan Serena people carrier which they had pre-ordered to take them home. The other men were not seriously injured, while the four male occupants of the Opel Astra – with which their car collided, were also not seriously injured.

The men in the Opel Astra had been returning to Abbeyfeale from a football match.

The road remained closed until yesterday morning as tenders from the fire service, local gardaí and the Limerick Garda Forensic investigation team worked through the night. A number of ambulances attended the scene. All three men were pronounced dead at the scene.

The injured, who were taken to the Mid-West Regional Hospital, were released last night.

A minute’s silence was observed at Listowel’s afternoon race meeting in respect of the men. Listowel racecourse director Pat Healy said: “The boys were here yesterday [Sunday]. It has put a dampener on the whole occasion. The whole of Listowel has been subdued. Our sympathies go out to their families and friends.”

Local councillor Michael Collins said the town was “numb”.

“They did everything right. They had pre-booked a local taxi and were on their way home after their day out,” Mr Collins said.

Supt Dan Flavin said the road had been wet but it had stopped raining. It was too early to say what had caused the crash. He appealed for witnesses to contact gardaí in Newcastle West on 069- 20650 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800-666111.