Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Ophelia victim Fintan Goss ‘one of life’s gentlemen’

The devastating effects of ex-Hurricane Ophelia, as it swept across the country on Monday, were felt close to home with the tragic death of a young father-of-two at Ravensdale.

Fintan Goss (33) died when the car he was driving was hit by a falling tree on the Old Newry Road around 2.45pm on Monday.  It is understood he had left work early because of the storm warnings and was returning to his home in nearby Ballymakellett when the accident occurred.  The former St. Patrick’s GFC player, fondly described by friends as “one of life’s gentlemen”, married his wife Pamela last year and the couple have two children, three year old daughter Laragh and son Henry, who is just six weeks old.

The tragedy marks the second such heartbreak for the popular and well-regarded Goss family after eldest son Ronan was killed in an accident in Scotland 15 years ago, aged just 22.  Fintan Goss was laid to rest on Saturday in Calvary Cemetery, Drogheda following requiem Mass in St. Mary’s Church, Ravensdale.

Monday’s unprecedented storm also claimed the lives of retired nurse Clare O’Neill in Waterford and Michael Pyke (31) in Tipperary and caused widespread damage across the country, with Cork bearing the brunt of the hurricane-force winds.

In the north, almost 60,000 homes were without electricity as winds gusting at speeds of up to 80mph uprooted trees and brought down overhead power lines.  All schools and colleges were closed on Monday and Tuesday, while many businesses heeded the extreme weather warnings and closed early.