Former GAA chairman blames bar extension for double death

John Joe Holleran.

One of the leading lights in Galway football has hit out at the recent practice of granting bar licences for 72-hour periods over the weekend of the annual Comórtas Peile na Gaeltachta – claiming that this year it contributed to the death of two people in a horrific road crash.

Speaking at last Monday evening’s Galway GAA Convention, former Galway Football Board Chairman and Connacht Council delegate John Joe Holleran  asked what was wrong with “the old practice of going to the local hotel and having a night of celebration on the Saturday night?”

Noting the custom in recent years has been now to acquire a licence to serve alcohol over the three days around the June festival of football, he continued: “The practice in recent years now has been getting out of hand and it was devastating for two young people this year. It has left a mark on those families for the rest of their lives.”

Mr Holleran was referring to the death of two young people in a single vehicle accident at Churchfield, Tourmakeady, Co. Mayo in the early hours of Sunday morning, June 4.

Both of the deceased had been in Tourmakeady with friends attending a Comórtas Peile na Gaeltachta GAA event before the tragedy.

Front-seat passenger Sean Halloran (20) from Clonbur died at the scene while Cross native and NUI Galway student nurse Orla O’Malley – also aged 20 and a back-seat passenger in the vehicle – passed away two days later from injuries sustained in the crash.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.