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Queen's student and Gaelic footballer one of three killed in crash

Published 24/08/2015

Peter Hughes was one of three men killed in a road accident in Co Down (St Paul's High School/PA)
Peter Hughes was one of three men killed in a road accident in Co Down (St Paul's High School/PA)
Three men died after two vehicles collided on the dual carriageway between Dromore and Banbridge

A "big-hearted" Gaelic footballer was one of three men killed in a road accident in Co Down, Queen's University GAA said.

Student Peter Hughes from Dromintee, Co Armagh, died after two vehicles collided on Sunday night on the dual carriageway between Dromore and Banbridge.

The three men, two aged 20 and one aged 19, were travelling in a red Vauxhall Corsa which hit a black Volkswagen Tiguan on the northbound carriageway.

Queen's University Belfast GAA posted a tribute on Facebook.

"It is with great sadness that we learned of sudden death along with two friends of our fresher footballer and friend Peter Hughes yesterday evening.

"A great character and a footballer with a big heart, the club and his team mates will miss him badly.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Peter's mother, father, brothers and sister."

A woman travelling in the other car was hospitalised with injuries that are not life-threatening.

The A1 was closed for several hours but has been reopened to traffic.

Queen's GAA tweeted: "Devastated at the passing of fresher footballer and Dromintee man Peter Hughes (number 5)."

Mr Hughes was head boy at St Paul's High School in Bessbrook in 2013/14.

Principal Jarlath Burns tweeted: "You will live long in our hearts. A perfect role model and a total charmer."

He said staff and pupils were numb with grief and added his prayers were with his two brothers, sister and parents Sharon and Paul.

Nineteen-year-old Mr Hughes was a talented sportsman who had travelled to Kenya with the school on an aid mission and represented St Paul's in Murmansk, Russia, in establishing a new twinning programme.

The diligent student studied sciences and history at A-level.

He played half back at football and was outstanding, Mr Burns added.

A school statement said: "The board of governors, principal and staff of St Paul's High School Bessbrook are deeply saddened to learn the devastating news of the tragic passing in a road traffic accident of our former head boy, Peter Hughes.

"Peter was an outstanding young man; an excellent role model, a natural leader and a wonderful communicator.

"He was dearly loved by everyone in the school and will always be remembered for his talent, his personality and his commitment to our values. Our thoughts and prayers go to his family. May the spirit of St Paul guide them at this difficult time."

SDLP MLA Dominic Bradley said he had previously raised safety issues about the road.

"I will await the police report on the accident to see if any modification work needs to be done to make the road safer for motorists."

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