A GENTLE giant who was a tower of strength to his mother and siblings when their father died suddenly just seven months ago is how Darragh Keogh will be remembered by his heartbroken family. Twenty-three-year-old Darragh from 34 Ashbrook, Tullow died following a horrific road accident last Tuesday evening at approximately 5.30pm at Rathbawn, just two miles outside Tullow.
Darragh was fatally injured when the car he was driving collided with another vehicle at this notoriously dangerous stretch of road at Rathbawn. The driver of the second car, a man in his 50s, was injured and removed to St Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny, but his injuries were not life threatening.
“Darragh may have been 6’ 3” but he was a gentle giant, so quiet and so down to earth. He’d do anything for anyone. He was my little brother, the baby of us all,” Darragh’s heartbroken sister Amanda Lysaght told The Nationalist.
The youngest of six children to Teresa and the late Noel Keogh, Darragh was living in Ashbrook, Tullow with his mother and sister.
“Our father Noel died suddenly just seven months ago and Darragh became the man of the house. He was always there for Mammy and our sister Saoirse, who has special needs,” explained Amanda.
Tragically, Darragh, his girlfriend Kirstin Coleman from Carlow, two of his sisters, his niece and his sister’s boyfriend had just returned from a magical six-day trip to New York last Sunday. The family had enjoyed a wonderful time in the Big Apple, but for Amanda the trip now holds some of her final memories of Darragh.
“I’ll never go back to New York again … all my memories now, I can’t do it,” she sadly admitted.
Darragh, who worked at the Top Oil service station on Staplestown Road, Carlow, was not due to return to work from holidays until later that week but agreed to fill in on Tuesday because a colleague was out sick.
“He was on his way into work when the accident happened; he wasn’t even supposed to be working,” explained Amanda.
Originally from Dublin, the Keogh family moved to Tullow when Darragh was just five years’ old. He attended Tullow Boys NS, Tullow Community School and for his final two years of secondary school Presentation College, Carlow.
The Keogh family have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from the Tullow community since Darragh’s fatal accident.
“We’ve been inundated with people, the whole community have been there for us. The support we’ve had from the paramedics, the firefighters, Fr Andy Leahy, everyone has been above and beyond,” said Amanda. “Sgt Joe Hanley in Tullow and all the gardaí have been fantastic. After the accident, the paramedics did manage to resuscitate Darragh, but as they were putting him into the air ambulance to bring him to hospital he went into massive cardiac arrest and died. I know a garda held his hand all the time … they’ve been incredible,” she added sadly.
Darragh reposed at his home in Ashbrook last Friday and was removed to the Church of The Most Holy Rosary, Tullow for Mass on Saturday morning. He was later laid to rest alongside his father Noel at St Corban’s Cemetery, Naas.
Darragh is survived by his heartbroken mother Teresa, siblings Amanda Lysaght (Rathvilly), Ian (Dublin), Paul (Straffan), Joyce (Blessington) and Saoirse (Ashbrook, Tullow), relatives and many friends.