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St. Louis Couple Hurt in Crash in Ireland

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The car in which the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs was traveling after it was involved in a head-on collision. (Photo from Eamonn Keogh/irish-times.com)

By AP/KWMU

Dublin, Ireland – A couple from St. Louis was injured Monday night in a car crash in Ireland involving an Irish government minister.

The names of the tourists have not been released.

The minister says his driver was not to blame and suggested the St. Louisans were on the wrong side of the road.

But several ministers in the Irish Prime Minister's government have been caught in recent years breaking the country's speed limits.

The accident happened on a narrow scenic road in southwest County Kerry. Firefighters had to cut open the roof of the tourists' rented Opel to free them. Police are still investigating.

The government minister, Eamon O Cuiv, suffered a sprained wrist and gashed arm. At least one of the St. Louisans was critically injured.

The other two people in the minister's Volvo sedan, the police driver and O Cuiv's secretary, escaped with minor injuries, even though the car burst into flames upon impact.

The crash was front-page news in Ireland; it happened on the Ring of Kerry, a popular tourist trail that features spectacular coastal views on a single -lane road with little margin for error.

Its official tourist guide advises motorists to drive the circular path counterclockwise to minimize the risk of head-on crashes.

O Cuiv is a grandson of a founding father of modern Ireland, Eamon de Valera. He was giving an interview to a journalist on his cell phone at the moment of impact.

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