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‘Full of fun’ Tourmakeady man in fatal NY crash


TRAGIC COUPLE Tourmakeady man John Heneghan and his wife  Caitlin Holtzman, who were tragically killed in a road-traffic accident in New York on Saturday afternoon.

Áine Ryan

A ‘full of fun’ storyteller who was also very ‘thoughtful’ is how Father John Kenny, the Parish Priest of Partry and Tourmakeady, recalls the late John Heneghan, known locally as ‘John John’, who was tragically killed alongside his wife, Caitlin Holtzman, in a road-traffic accident in New York on Saturday afternoon. Originally from Tourmakeady, John (33) worked in the building trade and had started his own business in his adopted city.
Indeed, he was right there in the middle of that sea of the green and red of Mayo for the recent GAA championship opener in New York.  
Reportedly, Mr Heneghan and Caitlin Holtzman (32) died when a car travelling southbound on State Route 9 switched lanes and crashed into their car which reportedly was stopped at red lights. There were three other passengers in Mr Heneghan’s car - two Irish men and an American woman. Irish natives Luke O’Doherty (25) and Enda Crowley (25) and American Julia Staples (24) were rushed to Albany Medical Center with serious but not life-threatening injuries following the accident.
Police have confirmed that a 58-year old man was arrested at the scene for ‘aggravated vehicular homicide, two counts of vehicular manslaughter and driving while intoxicated’.
He was remanded at Saratoga County Jail without bail and is due back in court tomorrow, Wednesday.
“Winn was charged after the vehicle he was operating left its lane of travel and struck a stopped vehicle, killing two passengers and seriously injuring three others,” a  state police spokesman said.
“Winn was arraigned in Clifton Park Town Court and remanded to Saratoga County Jail without bail. He is due back in court on May 29 at 4 pm,” a police spokesman said.
devastated for family
FROM a well-known and popular family, John turned to his native place for his wedding on May 1, 2015, in historic Ballintubber Abbey.
In another poignant twist, yesterday (Monday) would have been his late and much-beloved mother, Mona’s birthday. She  died aged 59 after a long and brave battle with cancer in August 2010.     
Speaking to The Mayo News last night, Fr Kenny said how ‘the community is devastated and in shock about the death of such a young and vibrant man’.
“John was so very well got by everyone of all age groups. He was great fun, humourous, outgoing and very friendly. If John was around there was always loud laughter and stories being told,” Fr Kenny said.
“He did a tiling job for me once and when he couldn’t finish it he made sure he made sure to organise another man to finish the job, he was very thoughtful in that way,” he continued.  
He said that news initially came through John’s sister, Orla who lives in Chicago and he then visited his father Tom, who recently turned 80, at his home in Tourmakeady.
John Heneghan is survived by his father Tom, his sisters, Máire Ivanna (Ballyhaunis), Olga (Austria) and Orla (Chicago) and his brother, Michael (Westport).
Cremation and a Memorial Service will be held for John and Caitlin in New York This will be followed by a Funeral Mass and Memorial Service in Tourmakeady with the interment of ashes. Details of the arrangements will be announced later.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anamacha dílse.