Last weekend’s Topaz Donegal International Rally, round four of the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship, ended prematurely in what were tragic circumstances. Thomas Maguire, from Longwood, County Meath, lost his life in an accident during the second leg of the event on Saturday. Driver Shane Buckley was seriously injured when their Citroen left the road on the Knockalla stage. Mr Maguire’s family have said that their son loved and lived for rallying, and the future of the event should not be compromised by this tragedy. The Donegal Motor Club cancelled the remainder of the event in a mark of respect to the Maguire family. A memorial service for Thomas was held at the Mount Errigal Hotel on Sunday, which approximately 1,000 people attended. Investigations are continuing into the fatal crash.
Clerk of the Course for the Donegal International Rally Danny Gormley spoke with Greg Hughes on the Shaun Doherty Show.
Event results were declared final after stage 10, with Gareth MacHale and Brian Murphy claiming maximum championship points in their Ford Focus WRC. The history books will show that Gareth has now emulated his father Austin in winning twice but following Saturday’s events it will be very much a hollow win. MacHale finished just over one minute ahead of Tim McNulty and Paul Kiely, with Daragh O’Riordan and Tony McDaid third. Aaron MacHale and Eugene O’Donnell were next in line ahead of Seamus Leonard and John McCafferty, while sixth for Alastair Fisher and Rory Kennedy was enough to maintain their slender championship advantage. However, competitors were unanimous in that there were no winners in these tragic circumstances.