Mayo Coroner Pat O'Connor

Coroner suggests road safety barrier at Mayo death crash location

A coroner has recommended that the National Roads Authority (NRA) or Mayo County Council carry out an investigation to determine whether a road safety barrier is advisable along a stretch of the N59 – Mulranny to Ballycroy road– where a fatal accident occurred last March.

Sixty-four year old Padraig Doherty, who lived in Mulranny, was drowned on March 31 when his pick-up van left the road and crashed through a low wall before entering the sea at Doughill, Mulranny.

Mr. Doherty’s young son, Liam, was injured but survived the tragedy.

An inquest in Castlebar today was told that the cause of Mr. Doherty’s death was asphyxia due to drowning.

Sergeant Gabriel McLoughlin, Garda PSV Inspector for Mayo, testified that neither the condition of the vehicle, the road or the weather at the time had contributed to the collision.

The Dohertys were travelling south towards Mulranny when their vehicle collided with and smashed through a low stone wall that runs along the north bound lane of the N59.

After studying photographs of the scene, the Coroner for Mayo, Patrick O’Connor, commented that the wall is “extraordinarily low."

Sergeant McLoughlin agreed with the coroner that a barrier might help but pointed out that at the accident location the sea meets the road for quite a distance.

Mr. O’Connor recommended that the NRA and Mayo County Council should carry out an investigation to determine whether a barrier is advisable.

The coroner, who returned a verdict of accidental death, expressed his deepest sympathy with the Doherty family on their tragic loss.

He commended members of the public who had rendered first aid at the scene as well as gardai and members of the rescue services.