Tributes pour in for two GAA players killed in car crash on A5 in Co Tyrone
TRIBUTES have been paid to two young GAA players who were killed in a car accident in Co Tyrone.
The men died in a two-vehicle crash involving a Peugeot 508 and a Renault Laguna on the A5 Doogary Road near Omagh on Saturday at around 8am.
The victims of the crash, Killian Doherty and Maurice McCloughan, were both well known in GAA circles.
Diversions were in place for several hours with Omagh-bound traffic being diverted via Fintona and Dromore, and Ballygawley-bound traffic via Beragh.
Mr Doherty's GAA club, Drumquin Wolfe Tones, and Mr McCloughan's club, Fintona Pearses, opened their doors for friends and relatives to meet and support one another in the wake of the accident.
In messages posted online Drumquin Wolfe Tones said the deaths were a tragic loss.
"Killian had huge potential as a footballer, however, above his sporting ability he was a friend to all who knew him and will be sorely missed," the club said.
Both club's posted up photos of the players in action on the field while Fintona Pearses urged the local community to come together to remember Mr McCloughan and support one another.
"It is at times like this that it is really important that we are there to support his family and each other," the club.
Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd extended his condolences to the families of the victims and urged witnesses to contact police.
"With increased traffic levels expected during the Christmas holidays I am urging drivers, motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians to take extra care on the roads," he said.
“With many people enjoying some time off over the coming Christmas holidays, I am appealing to all road users to exercise caution, as our statistics illustrate that, like any other holiday period, there is an increased risk of collisions.
“To date this year, unfortunately, 66 people have been killed on our roads."
He added: “Over the Christmas holidays we will have additional police resources on the roads across Northern Ireland and we will be liaising closely with our An Garda Siochana Traffic Corps colleagues in the border counties.
“I make no excuse for officers robustly enforcing the law to make Northern Ireland’s roads safer.
“All I ask is that drivers slow down, do not drive after drinking or taking drugs, wear a seatbelt, drive with greater care and attention and don’t use mobile phones while driving.”
SDLP West Tyrone MLA Daniel McCrossan has expressed his condolences to the family and friends of the accident victims.
“The thoughts and prayers of myself and the entire community are with the family and friends of the two victims as they come to terms with this terrible loss," Mr McCrossan said.
"Most of us cannot begin to imagine how they are feeling at this time. Any number of deaths on our roads is too many.
"They can and should be prevented. I will be in contact with the PSNI to seek clarity around the circumstances of this terrible accident and do all I can to reduce the danger of this happening again.”
Sinn Féin MLA for West Tyrone, Declan McAleer said the deaths of the men would be widely felt.
He added: Our thoughts are with all those affected by this terrible news. I would urge everyone, particularly at this time of year, to exercise care on our roads.”
PSNI Inspector Keir Kitt appealed for anyone who was on the road between 7.45am and 8am and who may have seen the cars to come forward.