Belfast Telegraph

Teenager Michael Og McKenna killed in New Year car crash days after grandad dies

Michael Og McKenna lost his life on New Year’s day
Michael Og McKenna lost his life on New Year’s day
Claire McNeilly

By Claire McNeilly

A teenager who died in Northern Ireland's first road tragedy of 2020 is the second member of the same family to lose their life over the festive period.

Michael Og McKenna (19), from the Maghera area, was driving a red Audi when he was killed on New Year's Day following an early morning collision with a grey Audi.

The fatal crash happened around 2.30am on the A29 Moneysharvan Road between Maghera and Swatragh in Co Londonderry.

It is the second tragedy to befall the young man's family circle in just three weeks, following on from the death of Michael Og's grandfather (his mother's father) Patrick McGoldrick just before Christmas.

Mr McGoldrick, from Clady, Portglenone, who died peacefully at Antrim Area Hospital on December 20, was buried two days later in St Mary's Cemetery, Greenlough, on December 22.

A former pupil at St Patrick's College, Maghera, Michael Og, is understood to have been a trainee electrician.

Chair of Mid Ulster Council Martin Kearney paid tribute to Michael Og, whom he described as a "bright, young man", and he said his sympathies are with the teenager's family at this difficult time.

"I would like to offer my sincere condolences to the family who are now dealing with a double tragedy over the festive period," Mr Kearney said.

"This comes on the back of a close family bereavement before Christmas and it is the first tragic loss of the New Year.

"Michael Og was a very fine young person and an upstanding member of the community; he comes from a good family.

"Everyone is shattered by this terrible news."

The SDLP councillor added: "It is very sad that Michael Og, a bright and talented pupil, has lost his life just when he was beginning on an apprenticeship career path."

Mr Kearney said his thoughts and his prayers were with Michael Og's family, as well as everyone who knew him and has been affected by his death.

The female driver of the other car involved in the New Year's Day collision and two teenage passengers were taken to hospital for treatment for their injuries. Maghera Parish Priest Fr Patrick Doherty, who has been comforting the family, described Michael Og's death as an "awful tragedy".

Sinn Fein MP Francie Molloy said the young man's death had caused shock and sadness in the local community.

"Any death on our roads is a tragedy, particularly when someone so young loses their life," said the Mid Ulster MP.

"My thoughts are with the family and friends of this young man at this sad time."

Police have appealed for anyone who may have witnessed the crash or who saw either of the cars prior to the collision to contact them on 101, quoting reference 460 of 01/01/20.

The Moneysharvan Road was closed by the PSNI for several hours while officers carried out an investigation.

It has since been reopened.

It is understood that a post mortem is due to be carried out on the deceased over the coming days.

There are no funeral details at present.

Michael Og McKenna is survived by his parents, Joseph and Angela McFlynn, and a younger brother.

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