Bus driver who lost his life in tragic Monkstown crash to be laid to rest

Bus driver who lost his life in tragic Monkstown crash to be laid to rest

The scene of a fatal road traffic accident where a bus collided with a number of cars in Monkstown, Cork Harbour.

FUNERAL details are being finalised for the two men who lost their lives in a bus crash tragedy on Tuesday in Monkstown.

The incident occurred when the 216 bus hit priest Fr Con Cronin, who was out walking, and also collided with a number of parked cars.

The bus driver, named locally as Mark Wills of Ballincollig, in his 50s, also died in the crash. Gardaí believe he may have suffered a medical trauma that caused him to lose control of the vehicle.

The incident occurred on the Strand Road linking the village with Passage West.

Mark Wills is to be laid to rest on Saturday in his hometown.

Mark was the loving father of two children, Cillian and Rebecca, and the beloved son of Stephen and Madelene as well as the brother of Gwen, his twin Stephen, Brian and Ken.

Mark Wills, who died in the tragic accident.
Mark Wills, who died in the tragic accident.

Due to current government guidelines, Mark’s funeral will be private, but his Requiem Mass will be live-streamed at 11am on Saturday on the website of the Church of St Mary and St John, Ballincollig.

A message of condolence can be left on the RIP.ie site under the funeral notice for Mark Wills.

Funeral details for Fr Con Cronin who was hit by the bus, have yet to be released. But messages of condolence can also be left on RIP.ie under a funeral notice for Fr Con Cronin.

Post mortems on the bodies of the two men were due to be completed on Wednesday

It has been revealed that Fr Con, who lost his life on Tuesday, performed a heroic act of selfless care in his final moments, pushing a woman out of the path of the bus that ultimately took his life.

Locals have said Fr Con was crossing the road with a woman on Tuesday when the bus veered out of its trajectory and headed for the kerb on the right side of the road, hitting three cars in its path along with Fr Con.

It is understood the local priest, who was very popular locally, proved his altruistic spirit by using his last moments to save the life of another.

Fr. Con Cronin, CC in the Lower Harbour Parishes of Passage West and Monkstown who died in a fatal road traffic accident in Monkstown, Cork.
Fr. Con Cronin, CC in the Lower Harbour Parishes of Passage West and Monkstown who died in a fatal road traffic accident in Monkstown, Cork.

Local Councillor Marcia D’Alton said of the story that is circulating of Fr Con’s heroism that the priest “lived as a hero and died as a hero” while Independent Councillor Ben D’Alton O’Sullivan said Fr Con, “practised what he preached.” 

On Tuesday night, members of the community gathered for a candlelight vigil to pay respects to the two people who died tragically in a bus crash in Monkstown.

The community gathered last night in Fr. O’Flynn Park, Passage West, where people sang, played music and paid tribute to the much-loved local priest Fr Con Cronin.

There were emotional scenes in Passage West as people spoke about what the 72-year-old meant to them.

"Give thanks for Con," one contributor said."We should give thanks for his life and the work he has done.

"I think you feel privileged that he was your priest."

Posting on Facebook, local Independent Councillor Marcia D'Alton said the Harbour community were "blessed" to have Fr Con among them for nine years and said the priest made "bleak days bright."

Fr Con Cronin, who grew up in Bantry, had been serving in the Lower Harbour Parishes of Passage West and Monkstown since 2012, after returning from Africa where he had been on the Missions.

Ordained in 1979, Fr Con had been in the priesthood for 42 years. Fr Con was in Passage West and Monkstown alongside Fr Sean O’Sullivan.

Fr Con was described as a “natural extrovert” who used to “tell it as it should be”. A local Monkstown resident called Fr Con ‘the people’s priest’ who was most beloved.

“He was an ordinary man, there is great sadness in the community, you couldn’t underestimate his popularity.”

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