A teenager who died in a tragic road incident in Mayo this week has been remembered as a “beautiful, kind, fun-loving young man”.
14-year-old Zach Quinn died instantly after he was struck by a truck on the R345 Neale to Cong road shortly before 5pm on Tuesday.
Leading tributes to the young teen, his school Coláiste Muire Máthair said he was “a lovely lad who contributed greatly to the College community”.
“Zach was a beautiful, kind fun loving young man and his presence shall be very much missed here in the school,” Principal Betty Hernon said in a note to parents.
“Our thoughts are with Zach’s family, his classmates and friends at this very sad and difficult time.”
It is with huge sadness that we mourn the passing of second year student Zach Quinn following a traffic accident. Zach was a lovely lad who contributed greatly to the College community and will be dearly missed by his loving family and friends. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis pic.twitter.com/bGNawFe1ti
— Coláiste Muire Máthair (@CMMGalway) March 22, 2023
Galway Athletics also paid tribute to the teenager, calling him a “cross-country star”.
“Zach was an outstanding athlete and leaves behind a heartbroken family and club,” it said. “May he Rest in Peace.”
His athletics team Loch Lurgan AC said he was a “kind, fun and gentle soul’.
“Zach was a fine runner, especially in cross-country distance running,” it said.
“Zach was one of our first members to sign up to Loch Lurgan; he will be sadly missed by all our coaches and especially his friends in Loch Lurgan, of which he had many.
“We offer our heartfelt condolences to Zach's family and friends and any support we can provide.”
Coláiste Muire Máthair said it has put structures in place to help children cope with the tragedy.
It urged parents to let their children express their feelings without criticism , noting that it is not uncommon for them to, “have difficulty concentrating or to be fearful, anxious or irritable after a tragedy”.
“Although classes will continue as usual, I anticipate the next few days will be difficult for everyone,” said Ms Hernon.
“It is generally accepted that being in school and in the company of friends helps students feel grounded and provides a safe environment in coming to terms with their loss and sadness.”
The school also noted that young people frequently turn to social media to see what others are saying and urged parents to monitor their usage and engage with them about what they read.