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"He made an impression on everyone he met" - tributes to army officer killed in car accident

Lieutenant Colonel Jack Griffin was killed after being struck by a car near Thurles on Saturday afternoon.

Lt Col Jack Griffin (2) Lt Col Jack Griffin pictured on his wedding day in 2005 Ní Riain Photography Thurles Ní Riain Photography Thurles

THE DEFENCE FORCES have paid tribute to their colleague Lt Col Jack Griffin who was killed after being struck by a car on Saturday afternoon.

Lt Col Griffin (47) had been jogging on the Horse and Jockey road, just outside Thurles, in Tipperary when he was struck by a car driven by a 32-year-old man and carrying three child passengers.

All occupants of the car were uninjured in the incident.

“Lt Col Griffin epitomised the Defence Forces values and ethos,” a spokesperson told

Those values of selflessness, loyalty, integrity, and moral and physical courage, Jack had them in abundance.
He had all the leadership traits that you would expect from an officer in the Defence Forces.

“It is just shocking, it really is,” Comdt Seán Ó Fátharta, a friend of Lt Col Griffin’s, told

He was so very well known, our thoughts are all with Jack’s family, his wife and three little girls.
He really did make an impression on anyone he met, he had such a great manner about him.
He’s a huge loss to his family. It’s a loss that is felt across the defence forces.

Commissioned in 1988, Lt Col Griffin had almost 29 years experience in the Defence Forces.

A Physical Education graduate of the University of Limerick, he was heavily involved in training teams as a selector with his local club in Tipperary, Thurles Sarsfields, who recently retained their senior county hurling championship.

A former instructor at Ireland’s military college, Lt Col Griffin had vast experience of serving overseas. He saw three tours of duty in Lebanon, and was also based in the Western Sahara, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad, and the Ivory Coast in Africa.

At the time of his death he was based in Brussels as part of the EU’s military staff from which he had been at home on a few days leave.

Lt Col Griffin was remembered at the annual ceremony for deceased members of the Defences Forces in Dublin yesterday.

His funeral will be held at the Cathedral of the Assumption in Thurles at 1pm on Wednesday.

Gardai have appealed for witnesses to Saturday’s tragic accident to contact them at Thurles Garda Station on 0504 25100, the Garda Confidential Telephone Line on 1 800 666 111, or any Garda Station.

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