PEOPLE from Tullamore, Leixlip and other places came together to unveil a special memorial plaque in the Kildare town last Tuesday, on 15 May.
The event, run by the Leixlip Parish Council, highlighted the Eucharistic Congress of 1932 and a similar event being run this year.
On 27 June 1932, a lorry owned by Tullamore based company, Williams Waller, was returning from Congress in the Phoenix Park, when it crashed through the railings of the Salmon Leap bridge.
There were 31 people on the lorry and the crash claimed two lives. The local people of Leixlip came to the rescue of the injured. the deceased were Patrick Kenaney (23) and Edward Daly (28). Aid was given by locals in the Salmon Leap pub, which is now currently closed.
Twenty four others were injured but survived with varying injuries.
Last Tuesday’s ceremony saw a plaque, created by Celbridge artist/sculptor, Jarlath Daly, unveiled on the bridge.
In attendance also were Leixlip Town Council chairperson, Joe Neville, and Tullamore Town Council chairperson, Sinead Dooley as well as Regina Daly and Michael Kenaney, a granddaughter and a nephew respectively of the deceased men.
Well known Leixlip teacher, Eva Buckley, a relative of Patrick Kenaney, also attended as did Nellie Scully, whose father, Patrick Gorman, lost his left arm in the accident, which saw the lorry fall into the river.
Paul Carey, chairperson of Leixlip Parish Council, addressed the crowd and Leixlip parish priest, Fr. John McNamara, who was joined by Rev. Scott Peoples, Church of Ireland, led prayers and reflections.
There was also a warm welcome for former parish priest, Fr. Michael Hurley.
Mr. Carey thanked Cllr. Frank O’Rourke for his help in the planning process for the plaque. He said the Parish Pastoral Council became aware of the tragedy when preparing for the Eucharistic Congress and commissioned the plaque.
Traffic was stopped temporarily for the ceremony, which started at the Church of Our Lady’s Nativity. It involved the carrying of the Congress bell in a procession to the bridge, where it was rung for the last time before being sent “to continue its pilgrim journey.”