Gardaí bid to quell tensions after deaths

GARDAÍ have met with senior members of all families connected to last Thursday’s tragic road deaths in Knocknaheeny, Cork, amid growing tensions in the area.

Speaking before this morning’s funeral of 16-year-old CJ Nolan, who lost his life on Harbour View Road six days ago, Supt Con Cadigan said discussions had been taking place to quell fears over further incidents.

An increased Garda presence has been apparent in the densely-populated city suburb since the late-night deaths of Mr Nolan and 19-year-old Derry O’Callaghan.

The pair were travelling in a Ford Mondeo, which was driving after a Volkswagen involved in an earlier incident in Churchfield.

A number of people in the area yesterday told of concerns over rising tensions connected to the incident. One person claimed tenants had left over reprisal fears.

Supt Cadogan said he was hopeful no more issues would arise. However, he said Gardaí had met with families already involved to lessen concern of reactions to last Thursday’s incident. “We are following lines of inquiry and the investigation is continuing,” he said.

“We have met senior family members for discussions and we want to reduce any tension in the area if it is there from anyone,” he said.

While some have said the rising tensions related to a feud, one well-placed person living in Knocknaheeny explained that until recently relatively little had “been on the radar”.

The comments came after anger over the double fatality spilled over at a nearby Centra in Gurranabraher.

Catriona Dolan, 22, of 24 Hollyhill Heights, and her sister Elizabeth Dolan, 30, from 14 Laurel Ridge, Blarney Road, were at Cork District Court yesterday on charges of assaulting a woman on Sunday. Both Dolans are aunts of CJ and have been given bail on condition they have no contact with a family living in Knocknaheeny.

Since Thursday’s tragedy a floral tribute to both Mr Nolan and Mr O’Callaghan has been steadily growing at the site of the accident.

Above religious symbols, two empty beer bottles and framed pictures of the teenagers, flowers tied to the lamppost held messages, with one from a close relative of CJ’s writing: “Will always remember ye. Forever young”.

Mr Nolan will be laid to rest today at St Catherine’s cemetery in Kilcully, after an 11am requiem Mass at St Mary’s on the Hill church, metres from where the 16-year-old died.

Mr O’Callaghan will be buried tomorrow at St Mary’s cemetery in Curraghkippane, following requiem Mass at 3pm.

Fr Pat Fogarty, who spent yesterday preparing for both funerals, said the community had been badly damaged by the needless deaths.

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