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33 years after fatal car crash, Dick Spring to meet bereaved family

James Curran died when Spring’s ministerial car collided with the vehicle he was travelling in.

Dick Spring in 1996.
Dick Spring in 1996.
Image: EMPICS Sports Photo Agency

FORMER TÁNAISTE DICK Spring has agreed to meet with the family of a man killed in a crash involving his ministerial car.

They say this is the first contact they received from Spring or the Labour party since James Curran’s death in December 1981.

The former Labour politician’s ministerial car crashed in to the vehicle Curran was travelling in on a road in Nenagh, Co Tipperary.

Curran was the only person to die in the incident. Spring suffered lasting back problems from the crash.

Speaking to The Niall Boylan Show on 4FM, James’s son Alan said his mother did receive compensation from the State after a lengthy legal battle, but there had been no communication about the crash otherwise.

“Nobody sent a wreath, a mass card, nothing,” Alan, who was just 15 when his father died, told the programme.

He was Tánaiste, leader of the Labour Party. He could have got my number, my address but he did neither.

Alan said his mother was mourning “for a good number of years after the crash”. She received a letter of apology from the mother of Spring’s garda driver.

However, after he was contacted by the programme, Spring has now agreed to meet with the Curran family. He said:

Having being made aware that the Curran family are very upset at the lack of contact officially or otherwise after the car accident in Dec 1981, please inform the family that I would like to meet with them and if you forward me their contact details I will contact them at the earliest opportunity.

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“This is also a very sensitive and personal matter for me given the consequences.”

Spring was a junior minister at the time of the crash, and became leader of the Labour party the following year.

Read: Check out this Dáil row between Charlie Haughey, Dick Spring and John Bruton in 1991 >

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Nicky Ryan

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