The tragic road death of pedestrian Danny O’Neill in Claudy has sparked renewed appeals for street lighting at the accident blackspot.
The 53 year-old father of seven died after being struck by a van just yards from his home while walking between Faughan View and Claudy Village - a stretch of road which has claimed several lives including that of pedestrian Rose Devine several years ago.
Parish Priest, Fr David O’Kane said the death of Mr O’Neill was “devastating” for the deceased’s family and the local community. “This has caused devastation locally as the accident has taken place on a part of the road where several people have lost their lives in the past.”
SDLP Claudy councillor Thomas Conway has expressed his sympathy to the family and friends of both Mr O’Neill and the driver of the van and his family. Mr Conway, who has lobbied Roads Service in the past to have street lights fitted to the footpath on the stretch of road, said: “This is a terrible accident and both the deceased and driver are well known and liked within the local community. There was a tragic death a number of years ago of Rose Devine on the same stretch and after that tragedy I brought Roasd Service to the road and asked them to fit street lighting along the footpath. They said it did not meet the criteria. This is a notorious accident blackspot, at Dungorkin Bridge, with numerous people killed there over the past 20 years.”
Mr O’Neill will be laid to rest at Ardmore Cemetery tomorrow following 11 o’clock Requiem Mass in St. Patrick’s Church, Claudy.