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Priest warns of risks on roads as groom killed in wedding day crash laid to rest

Myles “Miley” Harty died in a single car crash on the morning of his wedding, last Saturday.

File photo
File photo
Image: Shutterstock/Robert Hoetink

A PRIEST HAS warned young people at a funeral of the “danger” and “risks” associated with driving on our roads.

Fr Seán Ó’Longaigh, parish priest of Askeaton, Co Limerick, spoke today at the funeral mass of Myles “Miley” Harty, who died in a single-car crash on the morning of his wedding, last Saturday. 

Harty, 20, was a front-seat passenger in a silver Skoda hatchback which left a section of the R518 Askeaton to Rathkeale road and collided with a pole around 1am.

A rear seat passenger was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries. A young man was arrested at the scene of the crash and questioned by gardaí before he was released without charge, pending a file to the Director of Public Prosecutions. 

Speaking about road safety in a general sense, Fr Seán Ó’Longaigh told those gathered at St Mary’s Church, Askeaton: “I want to make an appeal to our young people, because accidents are avoidable…”

…of course when you are young, you see no danger, but unfortunately, danger is there stalking us.

“And so the plea that I’m sure many of us here would make, is to be aware of the danger to yourself and others when you drive a car – you are all too important to us to lose you.” 

Harty was to marry Kate Quilligan from Thomondgate, Limerick city, at St Munchin’s Church on the morning of the fatal collision. 

Fr Seán Ó’Longaigh told Harty’s parents, Margaret and Myles senior: “Your loss is great. Nobody is really meant to bury one of their children – it’s a heart-rendering experience, but (Miley) has a cherished place in your hearts, a place he will never be displaced.

“There’s a numbness, a disbelief, a grief that follows, and I’m sure there’s the difficulty even still of accepting that it has actually happened – it’s more like a bad dream.”

Wedding 

Fr Seán Ó’Longaigh said Harty and Quilligan ought to have had been celebrating their nuptials, “but then, of course, so many circumstances added sorrow to sorrow, and how much more difficult that made things, especially for his bride Kate”. 

“You and the rest of the family had to go from a day where you were to experience great joy to a day of deep grief, in a moment,” Fr Ó’Longaigh said. 

The fatal collision which Harty died in “ended all his dreams and possibilities”, he added. 

Paying tribute to the 20-year-old, Fr Ó’Longaigh said: “I know that for Miley, his family were very important, especially his mother and his grandparents.

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“As you all know Miley made friends easily and he had many friends, he lit up people’s lives; he loved horses, greyhounds, and hunting with his friends.” 

Assisted by Church of Ireland Rev Canon Patrick Comerford, Limerick & Killaloe, Fr Ó’Longaigh added that “crowds” had gathered around the family following the tragedy “to console you, but there is a grief there that only you have”. 

A large crowd listened to the mass on a loudspeaker outside the church and along the street, while a smaller group of Harty’s immediate family and close friends gathered inside. 

Harty’s loved ones brought items to the altar which were close to his heart, including a bottle of Coke, hair gel and deodorant, his mobile phone, a halter and rope, and a Limerick GAA jersey. 

“He would have really enjoyed [the All-Ireland final] last Sunday, I’m sure he was looking on at it from another point of view,” Fr Seán Ó’Longaigh concluded.

About the author:

David Raleigh

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