Irish rally star dies in Donegal Rally crash
Ireland’s Donegal International Rally was cancelled on Sunday following the fatal accident of leading competitor Manus Kelly.
Forty-one year old Kelly had won the event for the previous three years, and was the number one seed in his Hyundai i20 R5.
The car crashed midway through the Fanad Head stage and went through a hedge and into a field. The car was extensively damaged.
In a joint statement on Sunday, Donegal Motor Club and Motorsport Ireland said:
“Donegal Motor Club and Motorsport Ireland would like to extend its sympathies to the family and friends of Manus Kelly who was fatally injured during a tragic accident while competing in the Donegal International Rally on Sunday, June 23rd, 2019.
“Our thoughts are with his family and all affected at this time.”
Kelly was a much respected figure in Irish rallying.
“Manus was a great ambassador for our sport and for the Donegal rally,” clerk of the course Eamonn McGee said.
“It’s devastating news for everyone to process. Manus was such a popular character and a great competitor.”
Donegal Motor Club described him as “immensely popular in the rally fraternity”.
Shocked by the tragic end to the Donegal International Rally today. To win this extremely challenging event three times marks Manus Kelly out as an exceptionally talented driver. The organisation and safety I saw on the rally was first class. Just feel so sad for all affected. pic.twitter.com/PfelRzQc1q
— Colin McMaster (@colmcklein) June 23, 2019