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'Cloud of sadness' over Limerick community after 'young man starting out on life' dies in crash

Gardaí appealed for witnesses and dash cam footage after a young Limerick man died when his car left a road, and crashed into a wall, in the early hours of Monday morning.

The victim, named locally as Luke Buckley, from Grange, Co. Limerick, died after his car struck a wall at The Cat’s Cradle bar, situated beyond a sharp bend outside the village of Ballyneety, about 9km outside Limerick City. No other vehicle was involved and no other people were in the car, said gardaí.

Firefighters attached to Limerick City & County Fire Service were alerted to the scene and used cutting equipment to free the victim from the wreckage. However, despite the best efforts of emergency first responders, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Gardaí said the fatal collision occurred “at approximately 12:30am” and the “sole occupant of the only vehicle involved, a man in his early 20s, was pronounced dead at the scene”.

“The body has been removed to University Hospital Limerick where a post-mortem will be conducted at a later date.” The R512 road at Carrigmartin, Ballyneety, was closed throughout the night, to allow Garda Forensic Collision Investigators carry out a “technical examination of the scene”.

Appealing for witnesses, a Garda spokesman said: “Any road users who may have camera footage (including dash-cam) and were travelling on the R512 at Carrigmartin between midnight and 12:30am are asked to make this footage available to Gardaí.

“Anyone with any information is asked to contact Roxboro Road Garda Station on 061 214340, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda Station.” Local non-party councillor Brigid Teefy said the area was “in shock” following the tragedy and that it had cast “a cloud of sadness and shock” in the community.

“I pass on my deepest sympathies to his parents Michael and Julie, and the rest of their children, they are very nice people,” said Ms Teefy.

A young man starting out on life, it’s a terrible huge tragedy for the family and for the locality and our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this very sad time.

Gardaí issued a nationwide public appeal on Sunday for motorists “to take care over the remainder of this Bank Holiday weekend”.

“Since Thursday 2nd June 2022 An Garda Síochána and other Emergency Services have dealt with a significant number of fatal incidents across the country, these tragic incidents have left behind grieving families and friends on a Bank Holiday Weekend which should be full of fun and enjoyment,” read a Garda statement.

“All incidents remain under appropriate investigation and will ultimately result in files for the local Coroner. An Garda Síochána has appointed Family Liaison Officers to support families in all of these tragic fatal incidents.” 

Assistant Commissioner Paula Hilman, with responsibility for Roads Policing and Community Engagement, said: “In the last 72 hours my colleagues in An Garda Síochána and in the other Emergency Services across the country have responded to a number of tragic fatal incidents, too many families have suffered trauma already this weekend.” 

Speaking in relation to general road safety, Assistant Commissioner Hilman added: “No matter what activity you are taking part in this weekend do please take care. Please ensure that you are following all the appropriate safety advice. If you are travelling on our roads I appeal to drivers ‘please slow down’ and ask all road users to take care over the remaining days of this Bank Holiday Weekend.”