Newtown stunned at death of popular young man

The Donegal village of Newtowncunningham has been left stunned and devastated after a fatal car crash claimed the life of one of its young residents.

The Donegal village of Newtowncunningham has been left stunned and devastated after a fatal car crash claimed the life of one of its young residents.

The single vehicle crash, which killed the Newtown man and left two others seriously injured in hospital, happened on Sunday afternoon on the main Lifford to Letterkenny road around 1.30pm.

The Newtoncunningham man, Bobby Rodgers of 26 Colehill, was 21, the son of Georgie and Elizabeth Rodgers.

The other two men who were travelling in the Opel Astra, also in their early 20s, were taken to Letterkenny General Hospital. Both men remained hospitalised yesterday, and one was in intensive care.

Gardai are now appealing to the public for information on the collision. Garda Traffic Inspector Michael Harrison said the investigation is in the early stages, but they are appealing to anyone who was on the road at the time of the to contact Lifford or Letterkenny Garda Stations.

It is believed the wine-coloured Opel Astra was travelling in the direction of Letterkenny when it veered off the road and hit a stone wall. The road was closed for a Garda forensic investigation and later reopened.

Newtowncunningham based councillor Paul Canning said the community has been devastated by the news.

“Once you have somebody of that age taken away that quickly, it’s terrible,” he said.

“It’s devastating news, for the whole village,” said Colr. Canning. “Where they live in Colehill is almost a community within a community and they have known tragedy before.”

The tragic collision on Sunday occurred the week of the anniversary of the deaths of Kevin Callaghan and Declan Callaghan of Colehill, who were killed 20 years ago when they were struck by a car. Last week was also the anniversary of another local tragedy, the single-vehicle collision in which Gary McLaughlin, age 21, and Darren Downey, age 19, lifelong friends from Burt, were killed in 2009.

“It just brings the whole thing back,” Colr. Canning said. “It has rocked the whole area.”

A former member of the Newtowncunningham Scouts and a past pupil of the Scoil Cholmcille, scout group leader Dympna Whoriskey said the young man will be sadly missed.

“Bobby was a lovely popular young fella and it is very sad and tragic what has happened here. His accident has affected the whole community and our thoughts and condolences are with his family at this sad time.”

Removal today at 5pm from the Eternal Light Chapel of Rest at the Mountain Top, Letterkenny, going to his late residence.

He will be laid to rest tomorrow (Wednesday) following Requiem Mass at 12 noon in All Saints Church, Newtowncunningham.