FINAL JOURNEY Ballinrobe came to a standstill on Saturday, as the funeral cortege of Aaron Morley and Pat Morley proceeded to the cousins’ final resting place. Fr Michael Gormally led the procession.
Heartbreak in Ballinrobe
AS THREE Ballinrobe families, and the community at large, struggle to come to terms with an horrific road accident which claimed the lives of three young local men last week, Gardaí have renewed their appeal for witnesses to the crash.
On Saturday afternoon last, one of the largest crowds ever seen at a funeral ceremony in the south Mayo town flocked to St Mary’s Church on Main Street to pay their respects to Pat Morley (24), his cousin Aaron Morley (20), both from New Street, and Jonathan Donovan (21), Lough Mask, who were tragically killed on Wednesday evening last when the car in which they were travelling was involved in a head-on collision with a truck near the racecourse. All three died instantly.
The driver of the truck was also injured, as were three other passengers in the truck. They were all taken to Mayo General Hospital but were later discharged. It is understood that the three men were returning from a trip to Castlebar when the Mitsubishi Lancer in which they were travelling collided with the truck and careered across the road into a stone wall.
At the poignant funeral Mass for all three, Fr Michael Gormally spoke warmly of the three young men he had known and admired during his time as Chaplain in Ballinrobe Community School, which all three men had attended. He also issued an appeal to all motorists - young and old - to be responsible in their driving, and to slow down.
Parish priest Monsignor Tom Shannon was among the first on the scene on Wednesday night, and he administered the last rites to the three young friends.
“At first I thought there was just one person to be anointed, then the fire brigade officers said that there were two others in the car, one person in the passenger seat, one in the back. Never before have I had to anoint three people in the same car, never have I seen anything like it, and then to learn that I knew these young men.”
Superintendent Padraic O’Toole from Claremorris Garda Station, who is heading the investigation into the accident, said the cause of the accident was still being investigated.
Gardaí are anxious to hear from any witnesses who may have seen the collision take place. The three men worked as delivery drivers for the Irish Pride bakery in Ballinrobe and in Athlone, Westmeath.