The close-knit GAA community in and around Castlepollard in Co. Westmeath has been left devastated by the New Year's Eve car crash which claimed the lives of a popular young couple.
Saoirse Corrigan and Shane Gilchrist, who were both in their 20s, died in a two-car collision on the N52 slip road in Kells, Co. Meath last Friday afternoon. The driver of the other car, 29-year-old Julie-Anne Kehoe from Wexford, also passed away, while three children accompanying her - two baby girls and a 12-year-old boy - were taken to hospital.
Many tributes have been paid to the deceased on social media. Saoirse, who had only recently taken up a teaching post at St Clare's College in Ballyjamesduff, was a member of a well-known Ringtown GAA family, with her grandfather MJ being a former chairman of the Westmeath Hurling Board.
Shane hurled with Castlepollard and was part of the Castlepollard Community College team that won a North Leinster senior hurling championship in 2015. He also scored 0-12 from midfield in the previous year's junior quarter-final.
A terrible tragedy engulfed our community yesterday, Dec 31, as two of our young beautiful souls were tragically taken from us decades too soon. Castlepollard Hurling & Camogie Club would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the Gilchrist, Murray, Corrigan and Coffey families pic.twitter.com/UQfDft5vNU— Castlepollard Hurling Club (@castlepollardHC) January 1, 2022