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Tributes pour in for the first two road fatalities of 2024, killed in separate crashes
January 3, 2024
Keith Higginbotham (27) of Blackditch, Nurney, Co Kildare, was a passenger in a car involved in a single vehicle fatal road traffic crash between Kildare town and Newbridge on the M7 at Curraghfarm at 8.45pm on New Year’s Day.
The driver of the car, a man also aged in his 20s, was taken to Tallaght University Hospital, where his injuries were described by gardai as not life threatening. Two additional passengers, both also men in their 20s, did not require immediate hospital treatment.
Mr Higginbotham was a father of two young girls, Lauryn and Cali, and is also survived by his partner Lauren, his father Tommy, brothers Andrew, Derek, David and Christopher, and wider circle of family, relatives and friends. He is predeceased by his mother Theresa.
People paying tribute to him on the Rip.ie site include Ceann Comhairle and local Kildare South TD Seán Ó Fearghaíl, who said: “Sincere sympathy to the entire Higginbotham family in your tragic loss. May Keith have eternal rest reunited with all the loved ones gone before him.”
Others described him as “one of the best”, “a lovely fella”, “a true gentleman”, and “a very good person” and described his death as “a horrendous tragedy”.
Meanwhile, the daughter of a motorcyclist who was killed outside Cavan town yesterday afternoon has paid tribute to him.
Gary Murphy (48) was originally from Ballinagh, Cavan. Locals described him as “an absolute gentleman and a pleasure to know’’. They said he “absolutely loved motorbikes”.
In a moving post on social media his daughter wrote: “love you so much dad. I hope you’re at peace now’’.
His cousin John Murphy wrote: “Everyone has that one cousin who is more like a brother. Gary was that one. My heart is broken. Love to you and all the family. Rest easy now’’.
Local Fine Gael Cllr Winston Bennett said the local community of Ballinagh and surrounding areas had been left reeling by news of the tragedy.
“There’s a deep sense of shock, it’s just tragic,” he said.
The local politician, in paying his respects to the late Mr Murphy, said the road was one which had been the scene of a string of road traffic accidents in the recent past.
“It is a dangerous stretch in that it is just where you turn off for the Kilnaleck road from the Cavan to Ballinagh road. There has been several accidents on it and is one we as councillors have all highlighted.”
Mr Murphy is survived by his parents Kitty and Denis and four adult children. No funeral arrangements have been made as yet.
Mr Murphy died following a collision involving a car and his motorcycle that occurred at approximately 3:10pm yesterday on the main N55 Cavan to Ballinagh road at Corlurgan in County Cavan.
He was pronounced deceased at the scene. The road was closed for a time so that Forensic Collision Investigators could conduct a technical examination of the scene.
Gardaí are appealing for any witnesses to this collision to come forward.
And a woman, also aged in her forties, became the third person to lose their lives in a road tragedy this year so far yesterday.
Two children were also hospitalised following the crash between a car and a van in Co Kildare yesterday evening.
The collision took place at about 6.15pm on the R148 at Cloncurry in Enfield.
The driver of the car, a woman aged in her 40s, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Two young children who were also travelling in this vehicle have been taken to Children’s Health Ireland (CHI) at Crumlin where their conditions are currently described as serious but stable.
The male driver of the van was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.