CARNAGE IN DUNGARVAN

Three men dead and family seriously injured in horror crash

What started as a Christmas family day out to Winterval turned to unspeakable tragedy on Sunday morning when a two-car crash claimed the lives of three men and left an entire family seriously injured.

The three men died instantly when the Volkswagen Golf they were travelling in burst into flames after crashing head on with a people carrier at Military Road on the outskirts of Dungarvan at 10am on Sunday morning.
It is believed the men were travelling in the direction of Cork while the other car was heading towards Waterford City.

The scene on Dungarvan's Military Road following Sunday morning's horror crash which left three men dead and a family of six seriously injured. Inset: Gary Fenton and Mary Bermingham, who were seriously injured in the worst accident on a Waterford road for many years. | Photos: Patrick Browne

The scene on Dungarvan's Military Road following Sunday morning's horror crash which left three men dead and a family of six seriously injured. Inset: Gary Fenton and Mary Bermingham, who were seriously injured in the worst accident on a Waterford road for many years. | Photos: Patrick Browne

The six occupants of the people carrier included four children aged between 6 and 12 and two adults – Mary Bermingham (37) and her partner Gary Fenton (35) from Cork. Ms Bermingam lost her brother Christopher only two years ago in another road accident.

The road was immediately closed and an Emergency Plan launched by Gardaí, including four units of the Dungarvan fire service, eight ambulances, the Irish Coast Guard Helicopter and Air Corps Helicopter.

Ms Bermingham, Mr Fenton and one of the children were airlifted from the scene to Cork University Hospital. Both adults underwent emergency surgery on Sunday night and all three were described as being in a critical condition.

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Meanwhile the other three children were transferred to University Hospital Waterford where their condition was described as serious but stable.

One of the children, a boy was discharged from hospital yesterday morning (Monday) while the woman’s three daughters remain in hospital along with her and her partner.

The bodies of the deceased were removed from the scene and brought to UHW where post mortems were carried out yesterday afternoon. The men have yet to be formally identified and Gardaí stated the process, involving dental records, could take a week to ten days. The gutted vehicle is believed to have a Cork registration.

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An air of utter shock and disbelief hung over the town of Dungarvan and its environs this week as the local community struggled to come to terms with the sheer extent of the tragedy.

Fine Gael Councillor Damien Geoghegan said that people were devastated. “People heard the sirens and saw the helicopters on Sunday morning so we knew something major was after happening. But it’s particularly devastating that it has happened this time of year and that there were so many children involved. It’s horrific.”

Cllr Geoghegan said that that the area where the accident occurred had come up for discussion numerous times at Council meetings.

“Although where the collision occurred was on a straight stretch of road, there are a number of dangerous junctions coming onto military road and we have tried several times to do something about it.”

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Shocked Kilgobnet Parish Priest Michael Kennedy gave the deceased the last rites at the grisly scene.
“I went down and it was a very sad scene,” he told RTE News. “I was there to give spiritual assistance and I anointed them. It’s a very sad scene around Christmas, what is usually a tranquil scene in our little parish. My prayers and good wishes go to them, may God keep them all in His care.”

* A scheduled screening of RTE Nationwide’s Christmas in Waterford programme, due to air last (Monday) night, has been rescheduled for Monday next, December 20th in the wake of Sunday’s tragedy.

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