Manus was a great supporter of Killarney events

Manus Kelly (centre, left) and co-driver Donall Barrett at the close of the 2018 Killarney Rally of the Lakes 2018 with Dermot Healy, Clerk of the Course (left), Brian McArdle, OSI, Noreen Marshall, Martin Farrell and Lisa Foley, Rally of the Lakes, Jeff Aherne, and Cormac Casey, Rally of the Lakes.
Picture: Eamonn Keogh

THOSE involved in the sport of rallying in Killarney have been shocked and saddened by the tragic death of ace driver Manus Kelly who was killed when he crashed out of the annual international rally in his native Donegal on Sunday afternoon.

The 41-year-old, one of Ireland’s leading rally drivers and a prominent businessman and politician, sustained fatal injuries in the crash on the Fanad Peninsula and his co-driver, Donall Barrett, was also injured and is being treated in hospital in Letterkenny.

The duo were big supporters of rallying in Kerry and, in fact, they were the overall winners of the Killarney Rally of the Lakes in 2018.

Father-of-five Manus, who was a hugely popular personality in rallying circles, was a vastly experienced driver who was defending his title in Donegal. He had won his home turf event for the past three years in a WRC Impreza and this year he changed to a left-hand drive Hyundai i20 R5 which was the vehicle he drove in the Rally of the Lakes in May.

A first-time elected Fianna Fáil county councillor in last month’s local elections, the Glenswilly native was the managing director of Tailored Facility Solutions, a management, recruitment and logistics

A spokesperson for the Killarney and District Motor Club remarked: “He was a true gentleman in motorsport and was a great supporter of Killarney club events. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time”.

Mr Kelly is survived by his wife, Bernie, children Annie, Mandy, Charlie, Conan and Bella, parents Donal and Jacqueline and his family.

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