“A cloud of sadness” hangs over Ballincollig following the death of local girl Róisín O’Donovan, who passed away on New Year’s Day after she was hit by a car in the centre of the town.
The 16-year-old suffered serious injuries following the accident which occurred at around 7.45pm on New Year’s Eve on the Main Street of Ballincollig, at a crossing near the Tesco supermarket.
She was brought to Cork University Hospital but died on Tuesday night. The driver of the car was uninjured but understood to have been treated at the scene for shock.
The road at the scene was closed to facilitate an examination of the area by Garda forensic collision investigators.
Flowers lay at railings next to the crossing where the accident occurred.
Ms O’Donovan lived in a nearby residential area and is understood to have been with friends at the time of the accident.
A student at Ballincollig Community School, Ms O’Donovan was due to travel to Disneyland Paris on a school trip later this month and was also to go on work experience as part of her Transition Year course.
Ballincollig-based councillor Derry Canty said Roisin’s death has touched everyone in the town.
“There’s a cloud of sadness over the town, everyone is extremely saddened by this tragedy, and that it happened on New Year’s Eve when everyone is out enjoying life. To see this happen to someone so young is tragic,” Cllr Canty said.
Local parish priest Fr George O’Mahony said the people of Ballincollig are ‘heartbroken’ following the accident and that parishioners’ thoughts are with Roisin’s family, and grandparents who also live locally.
The Ballincollig Tidy Towns group said there is a silence in the town amid the New Year’s Celebrations as locals think of those involved.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved tonight. A community pulling together,” the group said on Facebook.
Ms O'Donovan's death was the first road fatality of 2019, following a record low last year.
As of New Year's Eve, 149 people had lost their lives on Ireland’s roads in 2018 as a result of 142 fatal crashes - a 4% drop on the year before.
However, of these, 41 were pedestrian casualties, up 32% on 2017's figures.
Noting this increase, the Road Safety Authority said pedestrian safety will be a "key priority" for the Authority in 2019.
Gardaí have appealed for anyone who witnessed the Ballincollig accident, or who has any information, to contact Gurranabraher Garda Station on 021 4946200.