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prayers for family Galway parish mourns popular man who died days after horror road crash

Michael Donnellan (70s) passed away in Castlebar Hospital on Sunday night, while his daughter and wife both remain in hospital

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Beaumont Hospital

Beaumont Hospital

Beaumont Hospital

A small community in Galway has been plunged into mourning after a popular and outgoing local man passed away days after he was badly injured in a horror road crash. 

Michael Donnellan was in the car with his wife Kathleen and daughter Michelle when they were involved in a collision with a HGV truck on the N5 between Charlestown and Swinford in the early hours of last Wednesday morning.

Michael who was in his 70s, passed away in Mayo University Hospital on Sunday night, while his daughter and wife both remain in hospital.

Michelle is being treated in Beaumont Hospital in Dublin where her injuries are believed to be serious.

Local councillor Peter Roche said the three of them were on their way home from a dance event when the accident happened.

“Nobody is absolutely certain of the circumstances but both Michael and his daughter Michelle who was in the passenger seat were both badly injured,” he said. “Kathleen who was driving, was less seriously injured.

“Michael, who was in the back seat subsequently lost his fight for life last Sunday evening when his life machine support was withdrawn.

“Michelle has been in an induced coma since it happened so she is seven days in a coma. It’s hoped there will be some good news. And it is hoped Kathleen would be able to attend the funeral next week.

“It’s very tragic,” he added, “and nothing else has been spoken about around here since it happened.

“You often hear about these awful tragic road incidents on social media and see them on our TV screens but they’re always away from home, so to speak, it’s always someplace else.

“And then, all of a sudden it’s a local family, a lovely family, who are very, very well respected and loved.

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“It has consumed people here for the past seven days and nothing else has been spoken about. There was an absolutely beautiful mass held for them in the Parish church in Killerandan and everyone was praying things would work out for them.

“It was very special and there was so much love for them and so much emotion in the church. We were praying for three people at that point, with two of them critically ill and none of them had passed away but today that's very different because Michael has left us.

“He was a young man, you might say, he was only in his mid 70s, but he was magnificent worker and farmer.

“Everyone knew him. Before he retired he was working with the local authority and he always time for a conversation. He was very active, he loved going out and loved dancing.

“He was very outgoing and was much loved and now everyone has their fingers crossed that Michelle, who has her own family, will come through.”

“No words can describe how we’re feeling,” he said. “People are just waiting and hoping that she will recover.

“They were the life and soul of the parish. Michael represented all that was good about well-managed farming practices and they kept a lovely house, a lovely home, and they were just lovely people.

“It just been very difficult. It has very much affected the community here and it is probably the first time we have witnessed this sort of tragedy on or doorstep.

“But we have a brilliant community and everyone has rallied around each other.”

Gardaí have renewed their appeals for witnesses to the collision, and have urged anybody who was travelling along the N5 between Swinford and Charlestown between midnight and 1am last Wednesday morning to contact Claremorris Garda Station on 094 937 2080,

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