Tributes poured in on Monday for a young pedestrian who was killed in a road traffic collision in Cappamore, Co Limerick, in the early hours of Sunday.
The victim, named locally as Donnacha Ryan (Luke), from Shanacloon, Cappamore, was treated by paramedics at the scene but was pronounced dead later at University Hospital Limerick.
The fatal collision involving a car and Mr Ryan, who celebrated his 18th birthday only days before, happened on a local road at Dromsally, near Cappamore.
Shocked friends and neighbours posted messages of sympathy online including one heartfelt tribute from Dylan Heffernan, one of Mr Ryan’s teammates at Cappamore GAA Club, who stated: “Donnacha, you will be sadly missed, hope you get the best bed in heaven, sleep tight, your friend and teammate.”
“We are all deeply saddened for the loss of Donnacha, a life taken too soon,” wrote the ‘Bourke Family, Toomaline, Doon’.
Angela O’Dwyer, who passed on her sympathy and condolences to the Ryan family, described Mr Ryan as “the apple of your family’s eye, you were so loved”.
A poignant message written by Breda Cummins O’Dwyer, Croom, to the Ryan family, his girlfriend Mary, friends and teammates, read: “There are no words that can bring you comfort right now, but hold tight to the 18 years of beautiful memories you have of Donnacha, they can never be taken from you. Know that ye are in our thoughts and prayers in the difficult days ahead.”
Another message of sympathy to Mr Ryan’s family, read: “So sorry for the tragic loss of your beautiful boy, a precious life tragically snuffed out. ‘Sorry’ is so inadequate for a heartbroken family, keeping you all in my heart and prayers”.
Cappamore GAA and Camogie Club held a remembrance night for Donnacha at the sports field on Sunday night to allow his teammates and the wider community to come together and remember him.
Mr Ryan’s family had a “long connection” with the annual Cappamore Show, where a minute silence was held Sunday as a mark of respect for Donnacha, organisers said.
The Officers and the Committee of Cappamore Show stated: “This is a time of unbearable grief and sadness for Donnacha's family, his friends and his community, we think of his friends at this time who are struggling to come to terms with his tragic passing and extend our support and prayers to them also.”
“The Ryan (Luke) family in Shanacloon have a long connection with Cappamore Show having presented the John Ryan Luke Perpetual Trophy to the show for the mares and foals section, the family also shared their rare animals with the show on show days past.”
“Donnacha was one of the many young people involved in preparing the show grounds last week. He was part of the joy and sport of the excitement of setting up the show. The whole community are in shock and saddened by the tragic news.”
A photograph of Donnacha celebrating his 18th birthday a few days before his tragic death was released by his family.
The photograph shows him enjoying a night out socialising with a beaming smile, and him pointing to a badge he is wearing on a jumper to mark his 18th birthday.
Gardaí in Bruff are investigating the circumstances of the fatal collision.
A Garda spokesman said: “Shortly before 4am, (Sunday), Gardaí and emergency services were alerted following an incident involving a car and pedestrian on a local road at Dromsally near Cappamore. The pedestrian, a male aged in his late teens, was treated at the scene and taken by ambulance to University Hospital Limerick where he was later pronounced dead.”
“Investigating Gardaí are appealing for witness to contact them. Anyone with information can contact Bruff Garda Station 061 382940 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.”
Mr Ryan, who is survived by his parents Mikey and Nicola, sister Aisling, grandparents Mike and Kathleen Ryan and Shelia Ryan, girlfriend Mary, will be reposing at his residence from 5pm-8pm Wednesday.
The cortège will arrive at St Michael’s Church, Cappamore, on Thursday morning for 11.30am mass with burial afterwards in Doon Cemetery, Co Limerick.