Families bereft, communities stunned by loss of young lives

An eerie silence enveloped Roscommon last weekend as the people of the county struggled to come to terms with the tragic deaths of two young men in a horrific road accident that took place outside Roscommon town last Friday morning. Padraig McHugh (17), Rockfield, and Kieran Kelly (17), Rathbrennan, died shortly after 2.00 am last Friday morning when the car in which they were passengers left the N61 Boyle-Roscommon road at Bohergarve and careered over a low stonewall into a field. Bohergarve is two miles from Roscommon town. The two teenagers, who sat their Leaving Certificates in Roscommon Community College last summer, were travelling home from a friend’s house in Fourmilehouse in the early hours of the morning with their friends Colm Mee (17) and Paul O’Grady (18). The accident took place at 2.10 am and Padraig McHugh died on impact. Kieran Kelly was pronounced dead shortly afterwards at Roscommon County Hospital. Com Mee, who was driving, and Paul O’Grady were both seriously hurt in the crash. The four boys were childhood friends. Padraig McHugh is survived by his mother Angela, his siblings William, Paul, Brigid, and Aileen, and by his grandmother Bridget McHugh. He was predeceased by his father John, who died in an accident at Whelan’s quarry in Lecarrow in 2003. Kieran Kelly is survived by his parents, Marie and Tom, by his brothers Declan, Aidan, and Enda, and by his sister Sandra.  The teenagers who died were talented footballers who represented Oran GAA clubs and Roscommon Community College with distinction. Kevin and Padraig won a County Vocational Schools’ Championship with the school in 2006 and played at all minor levels for Oran. Mr. Kelly was employed as an apprentice panel beater at Casey’s garage. Padraig McHugh was preparing to embark on an apprenticeship with the ESB this winter. The late Kieran Kelly’s remains were removed from Smyth’s Funeral Home to the Sacred Heart Church on Sunday evening. Burial took place in an overflowing St. Coman’s cemetery following 11.30 am Mass on Monday morning. Padraig McHugh was buried beside his father in Oran cemetery on Tuesday afternoon following 12.00 Mass in Cloverhill Church. The removal to the church from Smyth’s on Monday evening was attended by thousands of mourners.