More than 1,000 people gathered for a funeral today – just hours after a freak electricity accident claimed the lives of two men at the wake.
The rural community of Bouliglass outside Askeaton, Co Limerick, was devastated last night after the accident at the family home of 21-year-old William Sheahan, who died in a car accident.
Friends and relatives paid tribute to 41-year-old Thomas Liston and 36-year-old Niall Fitzpatrick as they crowded into the Old Jesuit College for the funeral of Mr Sheahan.
The pair were killed and three others injured as they set up a temporary car park in a field near the family’s home to cater for mourners.
It is believed the men were moving an outside light which was attached to a power generator when it struck a high voltage overhead power line.
“One was killed instantly, it is desperate altogether,” said David Naughton, a local councillor, who was attending the wake.
“In tragedies like this all these people come together and help out.
“People are in shock and they just can’t come to terms with what has happened.
“These are great people and it is a tragedy what has happened.”
Mr Liston, a farmer, was from Croagh in Co Limerick and Niall Fitzpatrick, a single man, who worked as a delivery man and was a well-known GAA player, came from Broadford in the county.
Mr Liston’s son Robert, 16, is in a high dependency unit at Mid-Western Regional Hospital being treated for burns. The deceased’s older brother Seamus is also being treated but is in a stable condition.
The men were friends with the Sheahan family, who were well-known in the area through their shop in Askeaton town.
The Gardai, the Electricity Supply Board and the Health and Safety Authority are all carrying out inspections of the accident site.
It is believed the men were moving the light as dusk was approaching around 5pm so the overhead power lines were not clearly visible.
The incident in a field near the Sheahan’s home caused a black-out for around two hours in the nearby area.
The men were rushed by ambulance to the Mid-Western Regional Hospital where they were pronounced dead after 5pm yesterday evening.
Mr Sheahan died on Friday night after the car he was driving hit a pole on the N69 at Cowpark, Kilcornan, Co Limerick.