Manufacturing NI CEO speaks of father’s death on A5

The chief executive of Manufacturing NI has hit out at the “carnage” on the A5 as he spoke of losing his own father on one of Ireland’s most dangerous roads.

Stephen Kelly spoke to the BBC this week about the heartache cause by his father’s death in an A5 crash in 1995.

The CEO of the business group had previously discussed his bereavement at the Oireachtas in Dublin in December during a meeting of the Joint Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.

He told members while discussing infrastructure and the A5: “It is a very personal road for me, because I lost my father on that road. He was one of dozens of people who were killed because of the state of the road. It is a very personal road for our family.

It is not just a professional interest that I have in it.”

The long-awaited A5 Western Transport Corridor project could finally get underway next year.The long-awaited A5 Western Transport Corridor project could finally get underway this year.

Terence Kelly (45), a father-of-three and former captain of Derry City FC, died when the van he was travelling in crashed at Bready between Derry and Strabane in August 1995.

Hopes are high that the long-awaited upgrade of the A5 can begin later this year after the publishing of the Planning Appeals Commission (PAC) report into the project, which was announced back in 2007.

Since then, over 50 people have died on the road, which runs between Derry and Aughnacloy.

The Irish government has committed GBP75 million towards the project once it is approved, and it estimated the upgrade can be completed by 2028.

“What price do you put on a life? I know the pain and hurt that was caused when my father was lost on that road, and that has happened dozens of times,” Mr Kelly told the committee.

“It continues to happen to this day. That is the real cost.

It is not the cost of the tarmac, the central reservation or whatever else; it is the cost of people’s lives that needs to be borne in mind.”

6011 days and counting… As we prepare for a new year we look forward to the day in 2024 when this counter stops and the accidents and lives lost on the A5 cease. We wait patiently for the release of the commissioner’s report into the A5 planning process. #EnoughIsEnough[1][2]

— A5 Group (@BuildtheA5) December 31, 2023[3]

Mr Kelly told the BBC’s North West Today programme: “I didn’t know what the questions were going to be on the A5, and it was just a natural reaction from me to say ‘listen, this road is economically essential but actually its more about lives than it is about jobs’.”

He added: “There’s been carnage on that road for too long now.

The completed upgrade will help the economy of the north west and it will bring jobs but if it saves just one life, it will be worth every penny.”


  1. ^ #EnoughIsEnough (
  2. ^ (
  3. ^ December 31, 2023 (