23 May 2022

Man relives pain of losing three brothers in Offaly road crash

'I don't know how my mother and father keep going'

A heartbroken Portarlington man has described the moment his three younger brothers all died in a tragic car accident back in 2012.

Jason Doyle from Portarlington spoke on RTÉ's Liveline, about his three brothers Ryan (17), David (24) and Darren (27) who were all killed in a car crash along with Lee Bryan on the Geashill road outside Tullamore on August 10, 2012.

The coroner later found that a combination of alcohol and speed led to the crash and the deaths of the four men.

The three brothers were the youngest in the Doyle family and were spending a warm summer’s day at the public park in Tullamore with family and friends.

"It was a lovely summer's day and they were all having fun. A few of them were drinking and my three brothers and their friend decided to get into the car to drive home and that was the last journey they ever took.

“They crashed into a bus and all four of them were killed instantly. We lost the three youngest of our family,” he said.

Other family members were waiting on taxis or lifts in Tullamore to bring them home.

Jason explained that he was at a family wedding the night before so he was not spending the day with his family in the park.

"I got a call that evening to say there had been an accident and we had to go to the hospital. Because I was the eldest brother, I was asked to go down and identify my brothers' bodies,” he explained.

Jason said that his mother suffered from a heart attack after she heard the horrific news.

"I don't know how my mother and father keep going. My mother had a heart attack that night and ended up in hospital with the stress of everything. It amazes me how strong people can be. They keep going for the rest of us and try and stay strong for us children and grandchildren.

"It's amazing how strong humans can be when faced with tragedy. I wouldn't say that time heals, I'd say that after time people learn to cope with loss better overtime. It never fully goes away. They never leave your mind," he said.

Jason, who has three children, said that his brothers David and Darren each had two children and were left devastated after their deaths.

Jason wanted to praise his parent’s strength by sharing their story and he said that there should be zero tolerance to drink-driving in Ireland.

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