Disaster struck some twenty minutes before the end of the Wakefield Trophy race at the Curragh. Joe Quinn, drving a V8-engined Special, touched wheels with another car that he was overtaking on the approach to Ballymany corner.
Quinn’s car left the road; its bonnet shot up and obscured his view as he careered towards the tightly packed spectator enclosure. He killed a young soldier doing traffic marshall duty and a spectator, and died himself when a rope barrier tangled around his neck. The crash effectively ended open-road car racing in Kildare.
Oliver McCrossan, who has been a long-time car racing fan and who vividly remembers the tragic crash.
“I was watching from across the road but only witnessed the final moments as the car came slowly to a halt with the driver’s body hanging grotesquely from the cockpit,” Oliver recalls. “The accident happened about 20 minutes from the finish and spectators only a few hundred yards away were unaware of the tragedy as the race continued. The Army medical services attended to the injured at the scene and the more seriously injured were rushed to the nearby Drogheda Memorial Hospital.”