by Neil Leslie – Mirror – 1st June 1999

One of Ireland’s top young racing drivers has been killed in a horrific race smash. Teenager Neil Shanahan’s promising career ended tragically yesterday afternoon when his Formula Ford car collided with track barriers.

The crash followed an incident involving two other cars. The 19-year-old Dubliner was tipped to drive his way into Formula One ranks.

Formula Ford is a recognised training ground for Grand Prix stars and Neil emigrated to Britain earlier this year to follow his dream. Top drivers Eddie Irvine, Damon Hill and David Coulthard have all driven in the series.


The circumstances surrounding the smash are now under investigation. Officials say three cars were involved in the accident on the Clay Hill bend of England’s Oulton Park race track. More than 30,000 people at the Bank Holiday meeting watched in horror as Neil failed to walk away from the wreckage. He was treated at the scene by three medics and airlifted to hospital but died before arrival. Dr. Paul Trafford said: “He had massive injuries which weren’t compatible with survival. His injuries were too great.”

Neil was a son of well-known Dublin publican Liam Shanahan who runs the popular Bachelor Inn and Grumpy Jack’s pubs in the capital.


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