We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Garda officer stands at a roadblock on the N80 at Leagh on the Wexford Road PA Images
Road Deaths

'A terrible loss': Three young people killed in Co Carlow road crash named locally

Another passenger in the car, a man in his 20s, was taken to hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries.


TRIBUTES HAVE BEEN paid to the three young people who died in a road traffic collision in Co Carlow last night.

The crash occurred at around 11.30pm on the N80 at Leagh on the Wexford Road.

Three occupants of the car, the driver and two passengers, were pronounced dead at the scene.

Another passenger in the car, a man in his 20s, was taken to St Luke’s General Hospital in Kilkenny with serious but non-life threatening injuries.

The three deceased have been named locally as Michael Kelly (25) from Nurney, Co Carlow, Daryl Culbert (21) from Kiltegan on the Carlow-Wicklow border and Katie Graham (19) from Arles, Co Carlow.

Brian O’Donoghue, a local councillor, told The Journal that it was a “total tragedy” for the area and each young person’s communities.

There’s three young people not at the dinner table this evening. We have someone very hurt in hospital and all we can do is wish them well and that they recover.

The Fine Gael councillor added that the stretch of road where the crash occurred – the N80 at Leagh – has claimed a number of lives in recent years.

The road has been closed for a number of hours as Garda Forensic Collision Investigators examine the scene. Local diversions are in place.

‘A terrible loss’

Father Tom Little, a priest in the area, went to the scene late last night.

He told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland that he gave a blessing to the people who lost their lives.

Emergency services were in attendance at this point.

“We stood around and prayed together for them and their families,” he said.

“It’s a terrible loss.”

He said there is a bend on the road N80 at Leagh.

“There seems to be a point that is quite acute … it certainly has claimed the lives of a good few people who’ve had accidents [in the past].”

Speaking to RTÉ’s News at One, Carlow mayor and Fine Gael councillor Tom O’Neill said the news of the deaths is “heartbreaking” and that the community are in a “state of shock” today. 

“We are deeply saddened as a community in Carlow by the tragic accident that resulted in the loss of lives,” O’Neill said. 

He extended his condolences to the families and friends of the victims, adding that the community’s priority now is to support those impacted. 

Reacting to the news, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said his thoughts are with the families affected.

“I don’t know the details yet, but obviously there’ll be an investigation,” he said.

He added that he hopes the injured person will make a “speedy recovery”.

Junior Transport Minister Jack Chambers said today that the news of the deaths is “terribly sad”. 

“My sympathies are with the families on what is a very difficult day for the families and the wider community,” he said. 

Chambers said it has been a “really bad start” to the year from a road safety perspective, as “so many people have lost their lives already”.

He said the Government is taking “all efforts” with gardaí and the Road Safety Authority to “break this trend”. 

Gardaí are appealing for any witnesses to this collision to come forward.

Any road users who may have camera footage (including dash-cam) and were travelling on the N80 at Leagh between 11:15pm and midnight are asked to make this footage available to gardaí.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Carlow Garda station on 059 913 6620, the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111, or any garda station.

With reporting by Eoghan Dalton

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.