The four young victims of a tragic car crash in Ireland have been named after their vehicle struck a wall.
Luke McSweeney, 24, Grace McSweeney, Nicole Murphy and Zoey Coffey – all aged 18 – died after the horror smash yesterday in the town of Clonmel, southern Ireland.
Their car hit a wall at around 7.30pm, and all four sadly died at the scene that was attended by emergency services including Clonmel Fire Brigade and HSE Paramedics.
It is understood that the three teenage girls had been on their way to a party to celebrate receiving their Leaving Certificate exams.
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An investigation has been launched into the crash and post-mortems will be carried out over the next few days, a Garda spokesperson confirmed.
Father Michael Toomey, administrator in the parishes of Ardfinnan, Ballybacon & Grange, said he spent time with the victims’ families last night.
He wrote on Facebook: “Sometimes no words seem adequate when a tragedy like what occurred in Clonmel tonight happens. No words can give comfort at this time.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the families tonight who suffered a terrible loss in this terrible accident.
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“Being with them this evening, I know they are so grateful to all of the emergency services and to everyone who helped them this evening. The local schools will be in touch tomorrow to help the entire community and to be there for everyone at this time.”
Garda Superintendent Kieran Ruane said: “An Garda Síochána’s focus is the preparation of an investigation file for the Coroner.
“Family Liaison Officers have been appointed to each of the families to provide support and the families will be kept updated as to the course of the investigation.”
He said the scene was “very difficult” in “very adverse weather conditions”, praising the “exemplary” professionalism from first responders.
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He added: “I want to assure our local communities that An Garda Síochána is here over the coming days, weeks and months to support our communities as we all come to terms with this tragedy.
“I have been in contact with the principals of the local secondary schools that the girls attended and supports are being put in place for the friends of all four deceased today and over the next few days.”
The superintendent also appealed for anyone with information on the collision to contact the investigation team at Clonmel Garda Station.
He said: “We want to speak with any person who may have any camera footage or images from the R678, Mountain Road and specifically the Hillview area between 7pm and 7.30pm to give that footage or images to the investigation team at Clonmel Garda Station.
“Finally, I once again want to express my sympathies to the families of Luke, Grace, Nicole and Zoey. The families have appealed for privacy at this time. May they rest in peace.”
In a statement this morning, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the “whole nation” mourns the loss of four young lives. He said: “It is with deep sadness that I learned of the tragic incident in Clonmel last night. Leaving Cert results night should mark the beginning of a world of opportunities for young people.”
Ireland’s deputy leader and minister for foreign affairs Micheal Martin added: “Deeply saddened by the tragic, heartbreaking loss of four young lives in Clonmel. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families, friends, classmates, the first responders, and the entire community today.”
Anyone with information is urged to contact the investigation team at Clonmel Garda station on 052 617 7640, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda station.
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