Northern Ireland news

School community in mourning after second current or former pupil dies in road crash in less than three weeks

Conall O'Hare (18) died after a one-vehicle collision on the Ballydugan Road outside Downpatrick on Tuesday. Picture from Facebook

A SCHOOL community in Co Down is in mourning after a second pupil died in a road crash in less than three weeks.

Conall O'Hare (18) from Castlewellan and an A-level pupil at St Patrick's Grammar School in Downpatrick, was killed when his car crashed on Ballydugan Road outside the town at around 10.30pm on Tuesday.

It is understood his car, a Peugeot 207, left the road and hit a tree close to the junction of the Lake Road.

On April 2, 18-year-old Christopher Martin, a former pupil of St Patrick's, died after a one-vehicle collision near Crossgar.

Mr O'Hare is the third 18-year-old man to die in a road accident in the area since January, when Matthew Davis died from injuries sustained in a crash close to Saintfield.

Mr Davis was a former pupil at St Colmcille's High School in Crossgar, as was Mr Martin before his transfer to St Patrick's for A-level studies.

In a Facebook post, St Patrick's said: "The community of St. Patrick's Grammar School is devastated to learn of the untimely and tragic death of our Year 14 student Conall O'Hare.

"We would like to offer our most heartfelt condolences to the entire family circle, especially his mum Linda, our former colleague, and his many friends, at this heart breaking time.

"Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal. St. John Baptiste De La Salle pray for him. RIP Conall."

One of the comments left below the post, by former assistant principal Seamus Diffin, described Conall as "a fine young man" who he said it "was a pleasure to have known".

SDLP councillor Gillian Fitzpatrick, the chairperson of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, wrote: "RIP Conall. Thoughts and prayers with Conall's family at this time."

Sinn Féin councillor Naomi Bailie, who left hospital in February after a battle with meningitis, wrote: "God bless them. Another young life taken much too soon."

Condolences were also expressed by several schools in the south Down area, including Assumption Grammar in Ballynahinch, St Louis Grammar in Kilkeel, and St Malachy's High School in Castlewellan.

Requiem Mass for Mr O'Hare will be celebrated in St Patrick's Church in Bryansford at 11am on Saturday followed by burial in the adjoining cemetery.

He is survived by his sister Shannon and parents Linda and Enda.

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