Northern Ireland

A5 crash victim named locally as brother of Tyrone GAA player

A police car and police officer blocking a road and an inset picture of Caolan Devlin
Caolan Devlin died in a crash on the A5 between Omagh and Ballygawley. MAIN PICTURE: COLM LENAGHAN INSET PIC: Naomh Colum Cille HC

A 30-year-old man who died in a crash in Co Tyrone has been named locally as Caolan Devlin from Coalisland.

Mr Devlin was killed in a collision on the Curr Road section of the A5 between Omagh and Ballygawley when his BMW 320 collided with a blue Scania lorry after 7pm on Tuesday.

His former GAA club, Coalisland Fianna CLG, paid tribute in a Facebook post.

The club said it “sends its deepest sympathies to the Devlin family on the sudden and shocking passing of former player Caolan Devlin”.

“Caolan is son to Gerard and Margaret Devlin and brother to Niall.”

Tyrone captain U20 Niall Devlin has been called up to the county's senior panel
Former Tyrone u20 captain Niall Devlin's brother has been named as the victim in the crash on the Curr Road

Niall Devlin is a current member of the Tyrone senior football panel and the former captain of the U20 All-Ireland winning side.

The club continued: “At tragic and difficult times like this, we need to stand by Caolan’s parents, brother, friends, and entire family circle through the difficult days, weeks, and months ahead.”

Sinn Féin First Minister Michelle O’Neill said she was “deeply shocked and saddened”.

“An entire community is heartbroken. We will all gather around to support Caolán’s family and friends at this very sad and difficult time.

“Another family has been left in mourning after losing a loved one on the A5. This is a sad reminder of why we need to urgently upgrade this dangerous road to save lives now. There can be no more delay in building the A5.

“Caolán was a much-loved young man with a bright future ahead of him, well known and liked, particularly within the local GAA community, and he will be greatly missed by all who knew him.”

West Tyrone SDLP MLA Daniel McCrossan also offered his sympathies.

“The local community will also be reeling at the loss of yet another young life on this road, but I know they will do everything they can to support those affected,” he said.

“This is another terrible reminder of the urgent need to upgrade the A5 road.

“Nearly 50 people have lost their lives on this road in recent years and today another family have been plunged into unimaginable grief.

“There can be no more delays, no more objections, this road upgrade must be delivered to keep everyone in this area and everyone who travels on this road safe.”

We pause for a moment of reflection ahead of tonight's game.

Posted by Tyrone GAA on Wednesday, 6 March 2024

This incident came hours after Infrastructure Minister John O’Dowd appealed to anyone considering a fresh legal challenge to the A5 redevelopment to think again and prioritise the need to save lives.

Ahead of Wednesday evening’s Tyrone v Derry minor football league clash, players paused for a moment of reflection to honour Caolan and the Devlin family.