Belfast Telegraph

GAA footballer killed in car crash

A GAA club has been hit with tragedy for the second time in less than a year with the death of one of its players in a car crash.

The victim, named locally as Ciaran McKenna, was killed when he lost control of his car on a bend in Castleblaney, Co Monaghan.

The 17-year-old football star, who played for Crossmaglen Rangers in Newry, Co Down, was pronounced dead at the scene in Magherakill shortly after 5am on Monday morning.

Treasurer Thomas McKenna, no relation, said it was particularly upsetting given how recently Crossmaglen captain James Hughes was shot dead in Dundalk, Co Louth. "It's a whole feeling of despair in the area," said Mr McKenna. "The younger boys especially have been really shaken by it."

Ciaran, who played for the minor team, was described as a well-known and popular young man, with strong connections to the GAA.

His father Eugene, who is also heavily involved with the club and coaches younger teams, his mother Mary, and brothers Niall and Conal have been left devastated by his death.

Club members formed a guard of honour when Ciaran's body was removed from the funeral home to his parents' house on Culloville Road, Crossmaglen.

Last December, the Crossmaglen Rangers team carried the coffin of Mr Hughes, 35, who had won three all-Ireland medals with the club. His killer, Shane Rogers, 32, of Inniskeen, Co Monaghan, handed himself in but later killed himself while on remand.

SDLP councillor Geraldine Donnelly, who knows the McKenna family, said the whole town had been shocked and saddened by Ciaran's death.

His female passenger, a friend in her late teens, was taken to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda with injuries that have been described as not life-threatening.

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