herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

'Our hearts are broken' says family of 'beautiful boy' (14) killed in crash

THE family of the young boy killed in the latest tragedy on the roads today said "our hearts are broken".

Conor Byrne (14) died and his mother Angela was injured when their car collided with a tractor in Co Wexford.

The crash occurred on the Blackwater to Oulart Road just a few hundred yards from their home at Ballytarsna.

It is the second road tragedy to hit the family after the boy's grandmother, Eileen Lacey, was killed on Christmas week in 2006.

She died while on her way to pick up Conor from school less than half a mile away from where last night's collision took place.

DEVASTATED

This morning, Conor's aunt Lorraine Leacy said the family has been left devastated by the loss of their "beautiful, kind, strong boy".

"Our hearts are broken. We couldn't have asked for a better person than Conor.

"We are devastated that this has happened to our family again. Conor is an angel now with his gran."

The incident unfolded shortly before 7pm when the car the pair were travelling in collided with a plough being pulled behind a tractor.

A neighbour, who works as a maternity nurse in Wexford General Hospital, was one of the first on the scene and attempted to revive the teenager.

Emergency services then rushed him to Wexford General Hospital.

However, he was pronounced dead a short time later.

The boy's mother was also hospitalised but her injuries were said to be minor.

The driver of the tractor was not hurt in the crash.

Conor was a member of Oulart-the-Ballagh GAA club.

Its chairperson Mary Doyle has said the whole community is "absolutely devastated" at the loss.

TALENTED

"Conor was an extremely talented young hurler," she said, adding that he was one of Wexford's top prospects after being picked for the County Development squad.

"His family are heavily ingrained in the club so the sense of loss is massive," she added.

The deceased is a relative of legendary Wexford Camogie All-Star winners Una and Mary Lacey who also play with the club.

Conor was studying for his Junior Cert in Enniscorthy CBS.

Investigating gardaí closed off the road to facilitate a forensic collision examination and diversions were put in place.

They are appealing for witnesses to contact them at Enniscorthy Garda Station on 053 92 42587.

Local Councillor John O'Rourke expressed his condolences to Conor's family last night and said the local community would rally to support the heartbroken relatives and friends.

"I'm sure the family will get great strength and support from all their friends and neighbours," he said.

hnews@herald.ie

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