Tributes paid to Limerick family struck by tragedy following horror car crash

Fintan Walsh


Fintan Walsh

Lily Ryan Alexander with husband Doug Picture: Facebook

Lily Ryan Alexander with husband Doug, who were killed in the car crash in New Ross Picture: Facebook

TRIBUTES have been paid to a Limerick family struck by a double tragedy, following the death of two sisters in separate incidents in the past week.

Patrickswell native Lily Ryan-Alexander, aged 75, was killed in a horrific crash, in which the hired car she and her family was driving collided with a truck on the N25 in Wexford on Monday night.

Lily, who lived in Illinois, had crossed the Atlantic to attend the funeral of her sister Winnie, a Patrickswell woman who had moved to Wexford. 

The tragic incident occurred when she, her husband Doug, 75, and two sons Stephen, 49, and Doug Jnr, 52, were on their way to Winnie’s wake in Cushinstown. All four were pronounced dead on Monday night.

According to reports, as the family pulled into the hard shoulder on the N25, between New Ross and Ballinaboola and appeared to make a U-turn back towards New Ross, before colliding with an articulated lorry.

This week has been a double tragedy for the Ryan family, including Lily and Winnie’s sister Rita and brother Matty, who resides in Patrickswell.

Leading tributes, Deputy Niall Collins, from Patrickswell, said that it was a “devastating tragedy for the Ryan family, and our thoughts are with the family at this time. It such a horrific tragedy”.

He added that the incident was “beyond comprehension”.

Metropolitan Mayor Sean Lynch, who also lives in the parish, asked the public to “stand in solidarity with the family of the four victims of this horrific road traffic accident.

“All we can say is that our heartfelt condolences go to Matty Ryan and his family and his wider friends. But words cannot express the sorrow of the whole thing. I am sure they will respect privacy at this time.”

He added: “Any tragic accident, no matter if it is a road traffic incident or otherwise, it is sad. This whole episode is something you don’t hear of to have it happen. It’s hard to believe that something of this magnitude would happen, to wipe out a family.

“To hear this news is absolutely devastating. It would be nice to take a moment to say a prayer, light a candle, and stand in solidarity with the family of the four victims of this horrific road traffic accident.”

Winnie Keevey (nee Ryan), who died last Saturday, had been living with her family in Cushinstown, in Wexford.

Parish priest Fr Sean Devereux told the Limerick Leader that the “whole community are just shocked and stunned at what has unfolded”.

As of this Wednesday evening, no funeral arrangements have been made for the Alexander family, from Oak Lawn, in Illinois.

On the Craanford-Monaseed parish Facebook page, the Bishop of Ferns, Dr Dennis Brennan stated: “Thoughts, prayers and feeling of sadness and compassion are with those in Illinois, Limerick and Wexford – and the many other places affected – at this time.”

Gardai are appealing for witnesses to contact New Ross Garda station on 051 426030, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any garda station.