Tributes paid to retired firefighter (56) killed in A1 road crash

Eugene McNally
Eugene McNally

Family, friends and former colleagues have been paying tribute to Laurencetown man Eugene McNally, a 56-year-old newly retired firefighter killed in a collision on the A1 carriageway on Tuesday.

The well-known local man’s “devastated” family will bury the father-of-three on Saturday, following a noon Requiem Mass in St Colman’s Church, Laurencetown.

Described as “kind-hearted” and “popular”, Mr McNally died after an early-evening crash in which two other men were also injured.

The two, both aged in their 30s, were treated in hospital for injuries not believed to be life-threatening.

One was later discharged from Newry’s Daisy Hill Hospital while the other was said to be in a stable condition in Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital.

Mr McNally had recently retired after more than 30 years as a firefighter and the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service was quick to pay tribute to the former Newry Fire Station Watch Commander.

Southern Area Commander John Denvir said Northern Ireland’s close-knit firefighting family was deeply saddened by the loss of a respected colleague, admired for his dedication to the service.

“It’s a very sad day for our station and the organisation,” he said.

He remembered Mr McNally too as a man committed to helping others and someone who turned his keen interest in cycling to helping raise funds for local charities.

“His kind-hearted manner made him an extremely popular firefighter at Newry Fire Station,” he said.

“Eugene was a husband, father and esteemed colleague; he will be greatly missed.

“Our thoughts are with Eugene’s family at this very sad time.”

Mr McNally is survived by wife, Christine; son, Paul; daughters Linzi and Laura; grandchildren and wider family circle.