'Young beautiful souls': Tributes paid as three people who died in New Year's Eve collision named

'Young beautiful souls': Tributes paid as three people who died in New Year's Eve collision named

THREE people who died in a collision in Co. Meath on New Year's Eve have been named.

Saoirse Corrigan and Shane Gilchrist, both in their 20s, and 29-year-old Julie Ann Kehoe died in the two-car collision on the N52 slip road outside Kells at around 4.25pm.

Three children travelling in Miss Kehoe's car — two baby girls and a 12-year-old boy — were taken to hospital.

The boy remains in a serious condition while the girls' injuries are not believed to be life threatening.

'A terrible tragedy'

Paying tribute to Miss Corrigan and Mr Gilchrist, Castlepollard Hurling Club in Westmeath described the pair as "young beautiful souls".

"A terrible tragedy engulfed our community yesterday, Dec 31, as two of our young beautiful souls were tragically taken from us decades too soon," said a statement on the club's Facebook page.

"Castlepollard Hurling & Camogie Club would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the Gilchrist, Murray, Corrigan and Coffey families.

"Shane and Saoirse were both stalwarts in the Castlepollard and Ringtown Hurling Clubs and extended communities.

"Our hearts are broken for your loss in this most difficult time.

"May their gentle souls rest in peace."

Meanwhile a statement form the Lough Lene Gaels Camogie Club in Collinstown described the couple as "lovely, bubbly" people.

“It is with great sadness that we offer our sincere sympathy to the families and friends of Shane Gilchrist & Saoirse Corrigan who lost their lives tragically yesterday,” read the statement.

“Shane & Saoirse were two lovely bubbly young people who made a huge impact on everyone who had the pleasure of knowing them.

“May God give strength to their families and friends at this very sad time.

"RIP Saoirse & Shane.”

'Taken too soon'

The Castletown Finea Coole Whitehall football club were among a number of other clubs to offer their condolences, describing the tragedy as "a dark day in our community".

“With great sadness all at CFCW offer our condolences to the families and friends of Saoirse Corrigan and Shane Gilchrist, who have tragically been taken away from us far too soon," read a statement.

"Both devoted members of their local GAA Clubs, Saoirse and Shane will be greatly missed by Castlepollard Hurling Club, Ringtown Hurling Club and CFCW GAA and the much wider community.

"Our hearts go out the Gilchrist, Murray, Corrigan and Coffey families at this difficult time.

"Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anamacha."

Sean Drew, Cathaoirleach of Meath County Council, said his thoughts were now with the children.

"Really terrible news regarding the awful accident outside Kells yesterday evening," he said.

"My sincere sympathies to the families and friends of the deceased. Please God the injured children will survive.

"My thoughts are also with all the members of our local Emergency Services who attended the scene.

"Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anamacha."

Marriage plans

The Irish Sun reports that Miss Kehoe, from Craanford, Co. Wexford, was due to be married later this year.

Miss Corrigan was pronounced dead at the scene.

Mr Gilchrist and Miss Kehoe were taken to Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown but were later pronounced dead.

The three children were taken to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, with the boy having since been transferred to CHI at Temple Street.

Gardaí have asked anyone with information or dashcam footage to contact Kells Garda Station on 046 9280820, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any garda station.