Tributes paid to veteran fire fighter killed in A1 collision

PSNI on the A1
PSNI on the A1

Tributes have been paid to a former firefighter Eugene McNally who was killed in a crash on the A1 in Co Down on Tuesday evening.

In a statement the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) paid tribute to their former colleague - Watch Commander Eugene McNally - who had recently retired from NIFRS.

Mr McNally, who had been in his 50s, had been based at the Newry Fire Station and had worked for the Fire & Rescue Service for over 32 years.

NIFRS Southern Area Commander John Denvir said: “Our thoughts are with Eugene’s family at this very sad time.

“We were all deeply saddened about his death. Eugene was a well-respected colleague who was greatly admired for his dedication to the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service. Eugene was well known within the local area, so his death will be greatly felt across the community. It’s a very sad day for our station and the organisation.

“We will always remember him for his work within the local community and his commitment to helping others. Eugene was also a very keen cyclist, who helped to raise money for many local charities in the area. Eugene was heavily involved in the recent cycling event held at Lurgan Fire Station in memory of a former colleague. His kind-hearted manner made him an extremely popular Firefighter at Newry Fire Station.”

He added: “Firefighters across Northern Ireland work very closely together – we’re like family - so news like this impacts everyone.

“Eugene was a husband, father and esteemed colleague. He will be greatly missed.”

Today the PSNI are appealing for witnesses to the A1 crash which happened at around 5.30pm.

Two other men, both aged in their 30s, were taken to hospital following the crash, but their injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

Inspector Stephen Humphries said: “A silver Mazda 3 and blue Volkswagen Caddy were involved in the collision. I would ask anyone who witnessed those vehicles in the area before the road traffic collision to contact Ardmore police station or the collision investigation unit at Sprucefield on non emergency number 101.”