Sunday 20 January 2019

Carnage on roads as crash woman serious and jockey (21) killed

Tributes were paid to jockey John O’Connor on social media
Tributes were paid to jockey John O’Connor on social media

A young woman remained in a serious condition in hospital last night following a crash in Dublin on Saturday, hours after a jockey was killed in Co Cork.

The woman, in her mid-20s, was hurt when the car she was driving collided with another vehicle at the Strawberry Beds, near Lucan, at 10.30pm.

She was taken to Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown with serious injuries.

The male driver of the second car was also treated in hospital, but his injuries were said to be minor.

The crash marked another bad weekend on our roads, following the death of a talented young jockey who lost his life in a horrific collision in Co Cork.

Jockey John O'Connor (21) died when the car he was driving collided head-on with a coach on the Mallow-Killarney road on Saturday evening.


The accident in Co Cork occurred shortly before 6.30pm, some 4km outside Mallow, not far from the Cork racecourse site.

The circumstances of the crash remain unclear and it is understood weather conditions were difficult at the time.

Mr O'Connor, who was the sole occupant of the car, suffered multiple injuries in the crash and died before he could be transferred to hospital. The young jockey was from Lismire, outside Newmarket, in Co Cork.

He is survived by his parents, Mary and James, brother Barry and one sister.

He was rated as one of the most talented young jockeys in Ireland and was tipped as a future point-to-point champion.

He worked with the Irish Horse Racing Academy and was one of the top young jockeys on the Irish circuit.

Multiple tributes were paid to Mr O'Connor by horse owners, racing fans and fellow jockeys.

Charles O'Connor said the world of Irish horse racing was in mourning. "What a tragedy. My deepest sympathies to his parents Mary and James, and brother Barry. (He was) unlucky not to have been novice champion point to point rider," he posted on social media.

Tom Busteed said Mr O'Connor had enormous talent.

"My condolences to his family and friends," he posted.

Another horse racing fan, Gerry Mangan, said Mr O'Connor was hugely popular and respected around Irish racecourses. He said: "Sleep tight Johnny - I won't forget the spin back from the Cheltenham sales in May. RIP Johnny."

Four people who were on the coach escaped serious injury. The coach driver, a middle-aged man, was being treated for soft tissue injuries and shock. The three passengers were unhurt, but all were deeply shocked.

Mallow gardai have now appealed for anyone who may have witnessed the collision to contact them.

"Investigating gardai are appealing for witnesses. Anyone with information is asked to contact Mallow garda station on (022) 31450, the Garda Confidential Line (1800) 666111 or any garda station," a spokesperson said yesterday.

The Office of the Cork Coroner was notified and a post-mortem examination is expected to be conducted this morning.


The death comes just days after the funeral of little Daniel O'Keeffe, who lost his life in a horrific collision in Co Meath.

Daniel (7) died of his injuries which he suffered in a road crash on January 12 that also claimed the life of his mother Emma O'Keeffe (26).

Mourners heard how he gave "new life" to three people when his organs were donated after his death.

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