TRIBUTES have been paid to a father and son killed in a horror moped crash in Turkey.
Mechanic Eoin Fitzpatrick, 36, and his son Dylan, 10, from Mountmellick, Co Laois, were on holiday in the coastal resort of Alanya with their family when the incident occurred at about 3.30pm on Monday.
Turkish media reported that the dad and son collided with a bus which was travelling from Alanya to Mersin on the D-400 highway in the Kargicak District.
Emergency services rushed to the scene, but the pair were later pronounced dead.
It is believed they were on holiday with Eoin’s older son Cian, 16, as well as his partner and her son who are from Mountmellick.
Local reports said the driver of the bus has been detained by police for questioning.
A talented sportsman, Eoin is understood to have played both football and hurling for Laois up to Under-21 level.
His father, Frank Fitzpatrick, is a prominent business in Portlaoise.
Laois-based Sinn Fein TD Brian Stanley said the crash took place the day before the family planned to fly home.
He said the boy’s mother is now flying out to Turkey in the wake of the horror incident.
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Mr Stanley said the family lives near him and grandparents on both sides of the family are well known in Portlaoise.
Speaking to us, TD Brian said: “The two lads only live a few minutes from the house, they’re great kids.
"It’s so devastating for their mother, her parents, and Eoin’s parent’s, who have not just lost a grandchild but their son as well.
“It’s truly shocking circumstances, and now the family are just trying their best to deal with the trauma of it.
“They were due to fly home today as I understand it and were involved in a fatal accident yesterday, on a moped, and it appears there was a second vehicle involved.”
Mr Stanley spoke to Mr Fitzpatrick’s parents and said “nothing can prepare you for something like that”.
He added: “It’s a huge shock. In the last few hours of their holiday. It seems to have been a simple quick trip to pick up something essential.
"A last-minute errand and the fatal accident happened.
"In the days and weeks ahead, the community in Portlaoise will rally around both families and hopefully be able to give them some support and comfort.”
Fine Gael TD Charlie Flanagan also offered his “sincere condolences” to the families involved.
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And Monsignor John Byrne, from Portlaoise Parish, told RTE’s Drivetime yesterday: “We’re so upset. There’s a dark cloud hanging over Portlaoise today. A wave of shock and sympathy has been extended to them. We know the family have difficult days ahead. Please God that with the support of their family and the community it will help.”
The Department of Foreign Affairs are providing consular assistance.
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