'NATION MOURNS' Brother, 24, sister and two friends, 18, killed in Clonmel crash named as Gardai describe ‘very difficult scene’

A COMMUNITY is in mourning after three 18-year-old girls were killed in a horror crash as they drove to an exam results party last night.

Nicole Murphy, Zoey Coffey and Grace McSweeney, all aged 18, were killed alongside Grace’s brother Luke McSweeney, 24, after the car they were travelling in struck a wall in Clonmel, Tipperary.

Tragic Grace McSweeney, 18, from Clonmel died in the crash alongside her brother

Luke McSweeney, 24, was driving the three girls to celebrate their results

Nicole Murphy, 18, from Ballypatrick was remembered as 'kind, gentle and witty'

Zoey Coffey, 18, from Kilsheelan was said to have been 'thrilled' with her exam results

Friends, family and even Taoiseach Leo Varadkar paid tribute to the tragic pals, who were killed as Nicole, Grace and Zoey made their way to a night out to celebrate their Leaving Cert results.

Varadkar said the nation is in mourning after the tragedy - which took place just weeks after Kiea McCann, 17, and Dlava Mohamed, 16, died in a crash on the way to their Debs ball in Co Monaghan.

Varadkar said: "For young lives, so full of possibility, to be cut short in this way is truly devastating and heartbreaking. The whole nation mourns them."


Superintendent Kieran Ruane at Clonmel Garda Station said the scene last night was "very difficult".

He praised the work of the first responders and said the local community is "shocked and deeply saddened".

The top cop confirmed that support will be given to the friends of the three teenage girls.

Superintendent Ruane added: “I want to acknowledge and express my gratitude to my colleagues in An Garda Síochána and the other emergency services who attended the scene last night. 

“The scene was very difficult, in very adverse weather conditions and the professionalism shown by all first responders and the care and respect shown to the 4 deceased was exemplary.

“Our local communities in particular Clonmel, Kilsheelan and Ballypatrick are shocked and deeply saddened by these events. 

“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. 


“We want to take the opportunity to appeal to any person with any information on this road traffic collision to contact the investigation team at Clonmel Garda Station. 

“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.

“The investigation team can be contacted at Clonmel Garda station on 052 617 7640, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda station.”

The Principal of Presentation secondary school, which Grace McSweeney and Zoey Coffey attended, said the pair were about to "embark on a chapter of their lives".

Principal Michael O’Loughlin said a "great day of celebration has now been replaced by a sense of grief and unbearable loss."


He said "no words can explain our sorrow, our loss and our grief" and that both girls had been "thrilled by their results."

He continued: "Zoey and Grace were two beautiful students, loved by everybody who met them and achieved such excellent results on Friday. Both girls were absolutely thrilled with the results and were looking forward to new exciting times ahead.

"Grace was a gentle and kind person. She was thoughtful, considerate, and hard working. Grace was a gifted gymnast and a dancer and a very good student who had a positive impact on everybody she encountered.

"Zoey's personality was warm and vibrant. She was funny, kind and really determined. Zoey was a diligent worker and was very popular with her peers and teachers, and was central to all aspects of school life in the Pres."

The Principal of Loretto school, which Nicole Murphy attended, said she achieved excellent Leaving Cert results and was looking to the future with "excitement."

Principal Ann McGrath said Nicole had been "looking forward with excitement to starting the next phase of her young life".


She added: "Yesterday's celebrations are now replaced by unbearable grief and a sense of loss for the whole local community.

"No words can express our sorrow, pain and grief.

"Nicole was a beautiful student, highly regarded by staff and students alike. During her time in Loretto, she developed into a young woman who was kind, gentle and witty, and she was a trusted and loyal friend."

And friends shared their devastation on social media as the news of the tragedy unfolded.

A friend of three girls wrote on Facebook: "My beautiful Angels that I had the honour of calling my best friends, I shouldn’t have to be saying goodbye to the three of ye like this.

"I’m still in complete shock there are no words to explain how I feel. Rest in Peace I will never forget ye my girls."

The bodies of the four young adults were removed from the scene last night to Tipperary University Hospital.  

Gardai have notified the local Coroner, and post mortems will be carried out over the coming days at Waterford University Hospital.


In a statement this afternoon President Michael D Higgins said "the grief expressed by the community is nearly unbearable".

He said: "The hearts of all parents and relatives, indeed the whole community, will have gone out to the families of Zoey Coffey, Nicole Murphy and Luke and Grace McSweeney, who lost their lives in a traffic accident in Co Tipperary last night.

"The grief that has been expressed by the community is nearly unbearable and I send my deepest sympathies to their families, their whole community, those in their year in school and the whole school, it's pupils and management.”

Postmortems on the tragic crash victims will take place over the coming days

The scene was shut off to the public as the community grieved the tragedy

Cops are asking any witnesses to come forward

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.