Outrage as dangerous driving stunts continue in wake of tragic accident

January 9, 2017

Slieve Gullion councillor Pete Byrne has said the sight of cars rallying around Crossmaglen so soon after the tragic accident which left handball champion Conall McCavitt in a critical condition has sparked outrage in the local community.  Speaking after cars were seen screeching around Cardinal O’Fiaich Square on New Year’s Night, Councillor Byrne said,

“Even on Sunday night, just days after this terrible accident, there were cars rallying around.”

“It went on for an hour-and-a half. The drivers come from outside the town, no one recognises who they are. It’s a major problem, which has been going on for years.”

The SDLP councillor recalled an incident in the Square 15 years ago when a child was hit by car that had been rallying around the area. The vehicle did not stop.  Mr Byrne said the victim, who was only about eight years old was on her bike when the she was hit by the vehicle.  The victim was airlifted to hospital and “is very lucky to be alive,” he said, adding that the issue of joyriding and dangerous driving in the village has been raised with the police on numerous occasions.

Calling for a visible police presence in the area in the evenings, Mr Byrne also suggested the installation of CCTV in the Square.

“The people doing it realise it takes the police an hour to get here. Any measure that stops this should be welcomed. If there was a camera, then at least people could be prosecuted. It’s only a matter of time before someone gets killed,” he said, adding that the whole community is hoping that 20 year old sportsman, Mr McCavitt, pulls through.

As nightly vigils continue at St Patrick’s Church for the talented handball star, his family released a statement last week on their son’s condition.  The statement read:

“Armagh handballer Conall McCavitt remains critically ill in an induced coma in the Intensive Care Unit of the Royal Victoria Hospital Belfast where he is receiving expert medical attention.

“His family appreciate ongoing prayers from the national and international handball community for Conall’s recovery.”