A coroner today (Monday) demanded action on what he described as “a notorious stretch of road” which has claimed many lives over the years including that of Ciaran Keating, brother of singer Ronan Keating.
Mr. Keating (57), a father of three, who lived at Kilsallagh, Westport, was fatally injured in a two-vehicle road collision on the N5 near Swinford, Co. Mayo, on July 15 last.
His wife, Ann Marie survived the impact.
An inquest into Ciaran Keating’s death was opened and adjourned today (Monday) by the Coroner for Mayo, Patrick O’Connor.
After pathologist Dr. Fadel Bennani recorded a verdict of death from multiple injuries including multiple rib fractures and laceration of the lungs, and liver Coroner O’Connor delivered a damning verdict on the safety of the stretch of road where the accident occurred.
He said there have been upwards of a dozen fatal accidents on the three kilometer stretch over the years.
Mr. O’Connor expressed disappointment that the recommendations of a road safety review that he advocated in 2020 had not been acted upon.
He added there was little point in coroners having the power to make recommendations if they are not acted upon.
Ciaran Keating’s son, Colman and brother Gary represented the Keating family at this morning’s brief hearing.
The coroner adjourned the substantive hearing until December 18 (for mention).
In evidence, pathologist Bennani said Mr. Keating was the driver of the car in which he was travelling. The impact occurred at 15.45 p.m. and he was pronounced dead at 16.40 p.m.
Dr. Bennani, in response to a question from the coroner, said Mr. Keating had been a relatively healthy man whose heart was ‘normal’ with no evidence of disease.
Expressing sympathy with Ann Marie Keating and her family, Coroner O’Connor said the entire Keating family was well known and respected.
Sergeant Denis Egan, court presenter, told the hearing that a garda investigation is ongoing into the accident.
He too expressed condolences with the Keating family.