Icy conditions at fault for Longford fatal accident

Gardai believe icy road conditions were to blame for a fatal road crash outside Aughnacliffe last Friday evening which claimed the life of 50-year-old local man, Sean McNerney.

Gardai believe icy road conditions were to blame for a fatal road crash outside Aughnacliffe last Friday evening which claimed the life of 50-year-old local man, Sean McNerney.

On Monday, detectives were still trying to establish how the incident occurred along a hilly section of road in the nearby townland of Fostra shortly after 8pm.

It's understood Mr McNerney was less than a mile from home after passing through the busy north Longford village when tragedy struck.

Crash scene investigators who sealed off the road on Friday night and on Saturday morning believe the Dromard GAA clubman was travelling uphill when the van he was driving skidded into a ditch before turning on its side. As there was no other vehicle involved, gardai have appealed for motorists who may have been on the Fostra to Aughnacliffe at around 8pm and perhaps witnessed the accident to contact them at Granard Garda Station (043 6686512).

The entire North Longford community has been deeply shocked by this tragic accident which claimed the lives of one of the area's most likeable and colourful characters. A noted football enthusiast, Sean McNerney was renowned throughout the county for his love of the GAA, and in particular, his home club Dromard.

Fellow clubman and Longford County Councillor, John Duffy said the sudden death of the man known as 'Black Jack' would be felt right across the community.

"He supported the club (Dromard) in every way you could think of. Even financially, he was never found wanting," he said.

A builder by profession, the former St Francis minor player spent a number of years in Britain before eventually returning home in the mid 1990s.

His straight talking manner and devotion to sport led to successful spell as part of Denis Connerton's backroom team during the senior side's championship winning campaign in 1999. A similar stint followed alongside Connerton with the Co Longford Senior team in the early part of the last decade.

In recent years Mr McNerney returned as part of Sean Hagan's management set up with Dromard GAA.

Apart from his deep appreciation for sport and in particular GAA, Mr Duffy said the Fostra native had a great sense of humour.

"He would often give me a ring especially when Fine Gael weren't going to well as he was a big Fianna Fail supporter," said Mr Duffy. "He was like that, very much up for a bit of craic."

Fianna Fail Councillor Martin Mulleady also paid tribute to Mr McNerney describing him as a "good friend, and a true football and politics man."

In the days since the accident, the community has rallied to support Mr McNerney's mother Lily and his sisters as they come to terms with the loss of a much-loved son and a brother.

His funeral will be held today, Wednesday at St Colmcille's Church Aughnacliffe after 12 noon Mass with burial afterwards to the adjoining cemetery.

He is survived by his mother, Lily, sisters Mary, Anna, Linda, Madge, extended family and a wide circle of friends.