First funeral of five weekend road deaths to take place

The funeral of Niall Murphy will take place in Newry on Wednesday
The funeral of Niall Murphy will take place in Newry on Wednesday

One of the five people who died at the weekend following road traffic collisions in the Province will be buried in Newry on Wednesday.

Teenager Niall Murphy was killed when his Ford Fiesta was involved in a collision with a Nissan Qashqai on the Dublin Road, Newry shortly before 5.30pm on Saturday.

The 19-year-old’s funeral service will take place at mid-day in St Mary’s chapel, Hill Street, not far from the family home in Windmill Heights. The driver of the Nissan, 67-year-old Joan Connor from Co Louth, died a short time later in hospital.

Less than 24 hours earlier two English soldiers were killed when their car stuck a tractor at Ballyconnelly Road near Cullybackey, Co Antrim.

Lance Corporal David Gwilt, from Bedford, and Rifleman Dale Harris, from Barnsley, were both aged 24. They had been serving with the 2nd Battalion The Rifles based in Lisburn.

A 21-year-old man who was also in the car was on Monday said by an MOD spokesman to be “very seriously ill” in hospital.

The fifth fatality was foreign national Andrius Liberis, 25, who died in hospital on Friday night from injuries sustained in an accident on Wednesday. Mr Liberis was involved in the collision on the Ardress Road area of Loughgall.

A total of 48 people have now died on Northern Ireland’s roads since the start of the year.

PSNI ACC Stephen Martin, said the “sharp spike” in road deaths has “again brought into focus the real need for all road users to take responsibility for their actions”.