A soldier has died after a road crash that also claimed the life of a friend of One Direction’s Niall Horan.
Gunner Lee Scally had been fighting for his life since the accident on Saturday.
The 29-year-old was pronounced dead in hospital today, three days after the crash that killed his 19-year-old friend Quentin Reilly.
The pair were from Mullingar, Co Westmeath – the hometown of boyband member Horan who this weekend used Twitter to call for prayers for the three men in the crash.
Councillor Michael Dollard said the town has been engulfed in grief.
“It’s very, very sad that two young lives have been lost,” he said.
“They were both very popular lads.”
Gunner Scally was driving the car when it crashed into a ditch on the Mullingar to Killucan road, approximately five miles outside the town, at noon on Saturday.
He was a proud member of the 4th Field Artillery Regiment based in Athlone and an experienced soldier, with four tours of duty overseas in Kosovo and Chad. He also had an envious haul of All Army winning shooting medals.
He is survived by his mother Carmel, sisters Kim, Elizabeth and Carmel, and brothers David, Keith, Derek and Peter, who is a corporal in the Defence Forces. His father Peter died two years ago.
The three men were rushed to the Midland Regional Hospital in Tullamore, Co Offaly, where Mr Reilly, of Auburn Village, was pronounced dead a short time later.
He had been a rear-seat passenger in the car which hit a ditch.
The third man’s injuries were not life-threatening.
Mr Reilly was the youngest child of Mary and Eamonn and is survived by his siblings Sandra, Mary-Therese, Nicole, Eamonn, Zita, Greg, Aidan and Conan.
The teenager will be buried after his funeral mass at the Cathedral of Christ the King in the morning.
Mr Dollard said Mullingar had been in high spirits after the silver medal win of local Olympic boxer John Joe Nevin.
“This has devastated the community,” he added.
“I knew the two fellows and their families. On my own behalf and on behalf of the people of Mullingar I want to extend our heartfelt sympathies to them.”
Gardaí have made a fresh appeal to members of the public who may have been on the stretch of road at the time, or to other motorists who stopped to give help, to come forward.