Belfast Telegraph

Brother of Fermanagh crash victim reveals anguish over tragedy that killed best pals

By Cate McCurry

The brother of a young Co Fermanagh man who was killed in the same crash that claimed his best friend's life has said their families have lost "two of the best lads".

Ronan Melarkey and Luke Lynch, who were inseparable friends from a young age, died in the collision near their home town of Newtownbutler.

Ronan was a passenger in the blue Peugeot 206 that crashed on the Clones Road on Sunday at around 8.45pm.

Driver Luke (22) died at the scene while another friend, Conan Connolly, who is aged in his 20s, was injured.

The three friends had been travelling home on Sunday evening when the car hit a tree.

They had gone to collect a Chinese takeaway and were just a mile from their home when the tragedy occurred.

Luke and Ronan had been close friends since they met in primary school.

Ronan's family is preparing to donate his organs, something he had said he wanted to do after his mother Tina was diagnosed with cancer.

She passed away in April last year and Ronan became a registered organ donor when he was aged 17.

His grieving brother Emmlyn described their deaths as a "tragedy".

"It is beyond belief and we are all in a state of shock," he told the Impartial Reporter.

"He actually signed the (organ donor) card on the day my mother was diagnosed with cancer.

"Now they will be together again."

Speaking about the tragic death of the best friends, he added: "We have lost two of the best lads.

"They were friends since primary school and retained that friendship throughout their lives.

"Ronan, Luke and Conan grew up together.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Conan and his family at this time, as well as with Luke's family.

"Conan has had a very tough time.

"Thankfully, he is recovering well in hospital and I wish him a speedy recovery.

"He was with his friends on their final journey and the last person to see them alive.

"I hope I will see Conan back out soon."

He explained that Ronan was on his last week of placement with DBA accountants in Co Monaghan and was preparing to return to university in a few weeks in order to complete his accountancy and law degree.

"He had his whole life ahead of him and was full of potential," Emmlyn added.

Luke, a talented musician and sportsman, was a life-long player for Newtownbutler First Fermanaghs Gaelic Athletic Club.

Tributes to the young man flooded social media in the wake of his death. He is survived by his family Chrissie, Ricky, Melissa and Ella and girlfriend Rosie Conlon.

The Newtownbutler club yesterday posted a message on its Facebook to wish Conan well.

"It was been a terrible week for this parish losing two young talented men with their future ahead of them, but our club would like to wish Conan a speedy recovery," it said.

"Conan was involved in the tragic accident on Sunday evening and lost two of his best friends.

"The club would like Conan to know that he has our full support going forward."

Luke's funeral will take place today at St Mary's Church in Newtownbutler.

And Ronan's funeral will take place tomorrow at the same church.

Belfast Telegraph

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