Community stunned by sudden passing of next-door neighbours

December 4, 2012

The close-knit community in Jonesboro has been left stunned and saddened at the sudden passing, within hours of each other, of two of its most well-known and respected citizens.

Late on Tuesday evening, the sudden and untimely death of Patrick McMullan occurred in his Regina Park home.  Patrick, better known as Tatty, was a prominent and popular figure in the area and his passing has left a huge void in the community, and particularly in the lives of his wife, seven children and grandchildren.

Just hours later people were further devastated with news that Tatty’s friend and next-door neighbour, Paul Connolly, was killed in a tragic road accident on Wednesday morning.

Paul, who lived with his elderly mother, died following a crash involving his car and a van on the old Dublin Road, outside Newry around 9.20am.

Due to heavy frost, road conditions at the time were described as treacherous and the tragedy prompted calls for Roads Service to consider including the road in its winter gritting schedule.

Sinn Fein Councillor Packie McDonald described the accident as ‘a very sad tragedy’.

Describing the condition of the road as ‘treacherous’, Mr McDonald added: “I travelled along the road just a few minutes before him and it really needed gritted.  Local residents are concerned that this road has been abandoned. I have been consistently campaigning for the Old Dublin road to be gritted as there is a heavy flow of traffic travelling on this road.”

SDLP MLA Dominic Bradley said people have complained about the road conditions.  However a spokesperson for Roads Service confirmed the route is not gritted as it does not meet the criteria for inclusion.

Meanwhile police have reissued an appeal for witnesses to the fatal crash to contact them.

Mr McMullan was laid to rest on Friday following 11.00am Requiem Mass in the Sacred Heart Church, Jonesboro.  Mourners again gathered in the same church on Saturday for the funeral of Mr Connolly who was laid to rest in Calvary Cemetery, Ravensdale.