The couple who became the latest to die on one of the country’s most notorious roads have been remembered as active members of their community.
Con and Mary McCarthy, both in their early 70s, died on Tuesday when their Toyota Avensis was involved in a collision with a Toyota Lexus, as the couple travelled southbound on the N20 Cork to Limerick Road 200m north of Mallow General Hospital.
The couple lived near the north Cork village of Buttevant and were yesterday remembered as well-known and respected members of the local community.
“It is unbelievable. A shock went around the village when we found out,” John Lee of the Buttevant Community Council said yesterday.
“We had all heard that there had been an accident, but we didn’t know until later on how serious it was or who had been affected.
Mr Lee said many in the area knew of the couple, through their adult children’s involvement in local sports growing up, and through the couple’s own interests.
“Mary was a long-time member of the Community Council. She retired two or three years ago but was involved for a number of years,” Mr Lee said.
“She was involved in promoting the town, looking to get grants and finding ways to develop it further.
“Con was a strong Fine Gael man, and was known across the county if not the country for his support of Fine Gael,” Mr Lee said.
Tuesday’s fatalities follow another recent crash, which claimed the life of Rod Sweetnam, 73, who was killed in a collision south of Mallow.
Mayor of County Cork John Paul O’Shea, who is a councillor in the area, said there is a need to prioritise a Cork to Limerick motorway.
“I’m not sure what the cause of this particular accident is, but it has been confirmed by Cork County Council that the N20 is way overcapacity as it is , particularly at peak times, from 4pm to 7pm in terms of the number of cars on it,” said Mr O’Shea.
“The prioritisation of the M20 is vital, there are a number of blackspots along that stretch of road, particularly around Blarney and Waterloo and between Mallow and Buttevant.
“History shows that fatal accidents are most likely to occur in these parts,” he said.
The female sole occupant of the other car involved in Tuesday’s collision suffered non-life threatening injuries.
Gardaí are appealing for witnesses to Tuesday’s accident and anyone with information is asked to contact Mallow Garda Station on 022 31450, the Garda Confidential Line, 1800 666 111 or any garda station.
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