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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
John Fallon

Heartbroken father of teen Lukas Joyce killed in Galway makes road appeal to other kids at funeral

The heartbroken father of the 14-year old boy killed in a Co Galway crash on Monday morning has issued an appeal to teenagers not to go out in cars and put their lives at risk.

Joe Joyce, whose son Lukas was one of two teenagers to die in an early morning crash outside Headford on the Bank Holiday, appealed to young people not to think they are invincible and asked them to think of their parents before they took risks.

He said that he and Neringa, Lukas’ mother, were no longer parents as a result of the single vehicle accident which happened outside Headford at 5.45am on Easter Monday morning.

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Kirsty Bohan, another 14-year second-year student at Presentation College Headford, also died in the accident while two other pupils of the school, a 13-year old boy and 14-year old girl, are being treated for multiple injuries at hospital.

Joe Joyce, in a deeply emotional speech, which lasted over half an hour at St Brendan’s Church in Annaghdown, said that he can’t believe Lukas is gone.

“He was like a little brother to me. He was with me on the farm or in the workshop or beside me in the van ever since he was three or four,” he told the packed congregation which spilled out in the churchyard and onto the road outside.

Mr Joyce issued an appeal to teenagers not to take risks and not to think they are capable of taking a car onto the road.

“What has happened is unreal,” he said. “What’s going on I don’t know but I have heard a lot this week but if I’d known earlier I would have put a stop to it. I saw parents yesterday and they walked around Lukas’ coffin and looking in at him and they were probably saying that could be my son.

“All I’m asking you, young people, it is not a joke, it is really serious. You might think it is good for Snapchat or whatever you are doing it for.

Memorial erected in Presentation College Headford to the two pupils who died (

“You are not able to drive a car, don’t think you are. Think of your parents. Parents work all week to provide for ye. They go to bed at night, do you want them to wake up to see if the car is outside the backdoor? Or see ye gone with it?

“I’ve heard the stories this week. It’s not fair on your parents. I’m not a parent any more, Neringa is not a parent any more. That’s all I have to say … stop it.”

Mr Joyce was given a standing ovation by the congregation and Fr Sean Cunningham also appealed to teenagers to listen to the words of the grief-stricken father.

Mr Joyce recounted in detail all that had happened since his world changed forever shortly before 11am on Monday when he received a call from An Garda Siochána asking him if he was the father of Lukas Joyce and that they wished to meet him.

He insisted on being told the news over the phone and said he couldn’t believe it. He then had to ring Neringa. “The hardest phone call I ever had to make,” said Mr Joyce.

Mourners were told how he went on Thursday to meet Kirsty Bohan’s parents, Christy and Theresa, and how they hugged each other for ages, united by their joint grief.

The hundreds of people inside and outside St Brendan’s Church heard how Lukas loved playing darts, rugby, soccer and GAA. He enjoyed working with his father on the farm or in the carpentry workshop.

Symbols brought to the altar included a rugby ball, darts, a basketball which is the national sport of Lithuania where his mum Neringa is from, while his school uniform and his work clothes were also presented.

Pupils from Presentation College Headford, players and coaches from Corrib RFC, Annaghdown GAA and other sports clubs and organisations formed a guard of honour, while neighbours and friends lined the road as his coffin was taken down the narrow road to Annaghdown cemetery on the banks of Lough Corrib.


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