“I was returning home from the Tipperary v Galway hurling match when I came on the scene,” said Tipperary North Riding councillor Martin Kennedy.
“Both cars were a complete write-off. My wife Helena, a nurse at St Camilla’s Hospital in Limerick, and another local nurse rendered medical assistance to the victims until local doctor Patrick Moroney arrived on the scene along with the ambulance.”
The accident, which occurred at 7pm on Sunday night, claimed the lives of nurse Maria McCoy, 64, from Thurles, and Noel Quigley, 19, from Newport, Co Tipperary.
“I know the Quigley family particularly well. This is the second tragedy to hit this family in recent years. This double tragedy has stunned the local community,” Cllr Kennedy said.
Gardaí said the accident happened on a straight stretch of road about four miles from Newport. Fire brigades had to use cutting equipment to free the two drivers from the wreckage. Nurse McCoy from Banquet Hill, Kilcommon, Thurles, Co Tipperary, and 19-year-old Noel Quigley, 4 Tulla, Newport, Co Tipperary, were both pronounced dead at the scene.
A 20-year-old passenger in Mr Quigley’s car was taken to the Mid-Western Regional Hospital, where he is in a stable condition.
In a separate accident, Co Cork man Stephen Daly died when he was struck by a car as he and his wife were walking home early yesterday morning.
Mr Daly was walking along Main Street, Ballincollig, with his wife, Deirdre, when he was hit by a red Mazda 323 at 1.40am near the Westgate Foundation. He was pronounced dead at Cork University Hospital a short time later. Mr Daly, 35, lived at Whitethorn Drive, Inniscarra View, Ballincollig. Gardaí are seeking witnesses to the accident.
Gardaí in Finglas have also appealed for witnesses to a hit-and-run on Wellmount Road just before 9am on Saturday morning, which has left a woman in a critical condition in hospital. The 21-year-old woman was walking when she was struck by a black Ford Mondeo car.
Meanwhile, the death toll in the North rose again, after an 18-year-old woman died in a car crash in Omagh.
She was a passenger in a Renault Clio which crashed at 11.30pm on Sunday night. The driver and two passengers were taken to hospital. One of them has serious injuries.
The young woman’s death came less than 24 hours after three men in their 20s were killed in a crash in Dungannon.