Northern Ireland

`How many more deaths will it take to get message across?’ campaigners ask after brother of Tyrone star becomes latest victim of deadly A5

Niall McKenna, chair of the A5 campaign group, Enough is Enough, giving his reaction in Omagh to the Irish Government announcement of hundreds of millions of euro in funding for cross-border projects. Picture date: Tuesday February 20, 2024.
Niall McKenna, chair of the A5 campaign group, Enough is Enough. (Liam McBurney/PA)

The death of Caolan Devlin is another blow to Gaels in the county, a campaign group has said.

The A5 Enough is Enough group, which was founded by Tyrone GAA last year, said the death was a tragic underlining of the need for the A5 Western Transport Corridor project to finally get underway following 17 years of setbacks.

The group’s chair Niall McKenna said Tuesday night’s collision was a devastating end to a day that had up to that point been “encouraging” as a result of discussions at Stormont, with infrastructure minister John O’Dowd saying he hoped to make an announcement soon on the project and publish the Planning Appeals Commission report on it.

A man has died following a crash between a car and a lorry on the A5 in County Tyrone on Tuesday evening.
The collision happened on the Curr Road, between Omagh and Ballygawley, shortly before 19:20 GMT.
The 30-year-old driver of a white BMW was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police at the A5 Curr Road following Tuesday's fata crash. PICTURE: COLM LENAGHAN.

“We formed our group in the wake of John Rafferty’s death in October 2022. John’s brother Michael is the current Tyrone under-20 captain,” he said.

“With this latest tragedy, that’s two brothers of Tyrone under-20 captains who have lost their lives to the A5 in just over a year.

“There is a growing sense of anger at the dysfunctional system that has allowed these delays to the upgrade.

“How many more deaths will it take for the message to get across?”