Northern Ireland

GAA legend Peter Canavan tells A5 inquiry he is a witness to road’s ‘death and destruction’

Peter Canavan (back right), director of sport at Holy Trinity College Cookstown standing with students at Strule Arts Centre in Omagh where a public inquiry is being held examining the proposals for a new dual carriageway along the route of the A5. Picture by Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Peter Canavan (back right), director of sport at Holy Trinity College Cookstown standing with students at Strule Arts Centre in Omagh where a public inquiry is being held examining the proposals for a new dual carriageway along the route of the A5. Pictur Peter Canavan (back right), director of sport at Holy Trinity College Cookstown standing with students at Strule Arts Centre in Omagh where a public inquiry is being held examining the proposals for a new dual carriageway along the route of the A5. Picture by Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Tyrone football legend Peter Canavan said yesterday he had witnessed the “death and devastation” caused on the notorious A5 road.

The ‘A5 Enough is Enough’ group was set up by the Tyrone GAA County Committee to campaign for improvements following the death of John Rafferty in 2022.

Read More

  • A5 risks increased by the loss of hospital services in south west, inquiry warned
  • What is behind the delays in the A5 scheme?
  • Dublin urged to commit substantial A5 funding

Three young GAA members, Petey McNamee, Nathan Corrigan and Peter Finnegan, also died just 150 yards from the entrance to the Tyrone GAA Centre at Garvaghey in December 2021.

Mr Canavan, a teacher at Holy Trinity College in Cookstown, said: “I’ve lived on the A5 for over 20 years, I was brought up there, and I’ve witnessed it first hand, the death and devastation that that road can cause.

“I’m heavily involved in the GAA, I take a lot of teams, my own children, up and down from the Garvaghey centre.

“And I realised, not only that junction, but the road itself, that you’re taking your life into your own hands every time you use it.

“So I’m weighing my support behind this today because enough is enough. How many more lives do we have to waste. How many more injuries and devastation to families must we witness?

“So, as I say, enough is enough – and hopefully things will move on sooner rather than later.”

The A5, which links Derry city with the border at Aughnacloy in Co Tyrone, was first given the go-ahead in 2007. But it has been held up by legal proceedings from an opposition group known as the Alternative A5 Alliance (AA5A).

Since 2007, 47 people have been killed in crashes on the stretch of the Derry-Dublin route.

The public inquiry into the A5 resumed yesterday at Strule Arts Centre in Omagh.

Students from schools in the A5 area, as well as representatives from GAA clubs and political parties, came to the inquiry to show their support for the upgrade scheme