A schoolboy and a young woman who was due to give birth to her first child in the coming weeks lost their lives after their cars were involved in a head-on collision.
The victims of the crash, which happened outside Bansha, Co Tipperary, were Mary Enright (née Walsh), 28, from Dungarvan in Co Waterford, and Robert Stoker, 17, from Monkstown, Co Cork. They were pronounced dead at the scene.
Robert Stoker was a fifth-year student at Presentation Brothers College in Cork City. He lived in Monkstown with parents John and Maria, and brothers Daniel and James. He was alone in the car when the crash happened.
The parish priest of Monkstown, Fr John Newman, said he knew the Stoker family well and that Robert was “one of the lads from around the area”.
Mary Enright was due to give birth in six weeks. She was driving towards Limerick. It is understood two of her passengers — husband Pat Enright and family friend Jack Lacey — were seriously injured, while another young passenger was not seriously hurt.
Mr Enright is manager of the Abbeyside minor football team. Jack was on the team, as was the other passenger.
The couple, who married last year, were bringing Jack back to Limerick, where he attends college. They had all been at a minor football match between Abbeyside and St Patrick’s.
Jack has represented Ireland in golf and was last year named Munster junior golfer of the year. His father, Michael, is a Garda superintendent.
Mrs Enright’s father, David Walsh, runs a print shop on Lower Main St in Dungarvan, while she was involved in ink supply.
“It’s unbelievable, devastating,” said Bernard Shields, secretary of the Abbeyside GAA club. “The whole place is up in a heap, we can’t believe it. The two families, the Walshes and the Enrights, have been involved in our club for years and years.”
Gardaí are trying to establish the cause of the collision, which happened at 10.40pm on Monday on a straight stretch of the N24 between Waterford and Limerick.
Garda investigators carried out a forensic examination of the location, which is less than 1km from Bansha village, on the Cahir side.
Robert Stoker will lie in repose at his family home in Monkstown this evening before requiem Mass tomorrow at Sacred Heart Church.
Mary Enright will be in repose at her parents’ home at Clonlea Lower in Dungarvan before funeral Mass at Abbeyside tomorrow.
* Witnesses have been asked to contact the gardaí in Tipperary town on 062 80670.
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