by Bernie O’Toole – Irish Independent – 1st June 1999

Irish motorsport was stunned last night by the death of teenage racing star Neil Shanahan in a track accident. The 19-year-old from Dublin’s Churchtown died when his Formula Ford hit a barrier at more than 100mph at Oulton Park in Cheshire yesterday after contact with other cars.

The double Irish Driver of the Year, the only son of publican Liam Shanahan, was battling for ninth place on the second lap of the British Formula Ford Championship race when the accident happened.

Attempts were made to revive him at the circuit before he was airlifted to hospital where he was later declared dead. Unconfirmed reports suggest he suffered chest and neck injuries.

The teenager, who drove for the Van Diemen team, is the first Irish Racer to die in competition since a crash claimed Peter O’Reilly at the Phoenix Park in 1978. Neil’s parents Liam and Mary were at the track when the accident occurred. It’s understood that Mr and Mrs Shanahan who own the Bachelor Inn and Grumpy Jack’s pub, travelled back to Dublin last night to be with their daughter Clare.


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