“Three Young People Killed in Carlow Crash: Daryl Culbert, Katie Graham, and Michael Kelly”

**Three Killed in Car crash on Notorious Black Spot in Co Carlow**

In a tragic incident that has shocked the local community, three young people lost their lives in a car crash on a notorious black spot in County Carlow on Wednesday night. The victims have been named as Daryl Culbert (21) from Kiltegan, Co Wicklow; Katie Graham (19) from Arles, Co Carlow; and Michael Kelly (25) from Nurney, Co Carlow. The car they were travelling in collided with a tree in the townland of Leagh on the N80 at approximately 11.30pm. Another passenger, a man in his 20s from Ballinabrannagh, Co Carlow, sustained serious but non-life-threatening injuries and was transferred to a hospital in Dublin.

The stretch of road where the accident occurred has long been a cause for concern. Local representatives at Carlow County Council have repeatedly raised issues about its safety and the urgent need for upgrades. The road, often referred to as “Leagh Bends,” has a history of accidents, and plans to improve it have been in the works for several years. Design consultants Roadplan highlighted its poor collision history and the need to bring it up to standard to accommodate traffic at 100kph.

A report by the National Oversight and Audit Commission, the oversight body for local government, described the road as deficient in both width and adjustment. The lack of hard shoulders and a series of bends have contributed to several collisions in the past. Concerns were raised at a recent meeting of Carlow County Council, with councillors demanding action to address the safety issues urgently.

Following the council’s request for the appointment of a consultant to prepare a feasibility report, it was decided that the road would be realigned. The estimated cost of the project is €15 million. The application for approval from Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) was scheduled to be submitted in early 2023, with a decision expected in the third quarter. However, due to delays, the submission will now take place at the end of February.

Councillor John McDonald emphasized that plans were in motion to realign the dangerous stretch of the N80. Carlow County Council aims to submit the application and accompanying documentation to the planning board in June or July. The local authority hopes these measures will improve the safety of the road and prevent further tragic accidents.

Carlow County Council did not respond to requests for comment at the time of writing.

**Background Information on the Incident Location**

The townland of Leagh, where the fatal accident occurred, is situated on the N80 road in County Carlow, Ireland. The N80 is a major national secondary road that connects the town of Tullamore in County Offaly to the town of Bunclody in County Wexford. The section of the N80 near Leagh has gained notoriety over the years due to its dangerous nature, earning the nickname “Leagh Bends” among locals.

The road features a series of bends and lacks hard shoulders, making it prone to accidents. Its deficient width and adjustment have been a cause for concern, as drivers traveling from both the north and south may have different expectations based on the improved sections of the road in neighboring areas. The absence of safety features and the history of collisions have prompted calls for urgent improvements to prevent further tragedies.

With plans underway to realign and upgrade the road, local residents hope that these measures will bring about much-needed improvements in safety standards. The submission of the application to the planning board in the coming months marks a step forward in addressing the longstanding issue and ensuring the safety of those who travel along this stretch of the N80..

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