A brother, sister, and her two friends who were killed in a horrific car crash on their way to celebrate their Irish exam results have now been pictured.
Luke McSweeney, 24, had been driving his sister Grace McSweeney and her two school friends, Nicole Murphy and Zoey Coffey – all aged 18 – when their vehicle crashed into a wall at around 7.30pm yesterday evening in Clonmel, Co Tipperary.
It is understood that they had been on their way to celebrate after the three 18-year-olds received the results of their Leaving Certificate exams.
The vehicle is believed to have lost control after it was travelling downhill and overturned near the entrance of the Hillview Sports Club.
Post-mortem examinations will take place in the next few days after the bodies were taken to Tipperary University Hospital.
The driver of the vehicle has been named by police as 24-year-old Luke McSweeney (left). His sister Grace McSweeney (right), 18, along with her two school friends were all killed in the horrific crash
Also in the car was Nicole Murphy (left), 18, and Zoey Coffey (right), 18. All four passengers were fatally injured in the accident in Co Tipperary.
Superintendent Kieran Ruane, of Clonmel garda station, extended his sympathies to their families, who he said had appealed for privacy.
The scene at Hillview remains closed on Saturday to carry out a forensic examination and Mr Ruane said that heavy downpours would be among the factors that Garda investigators would consider.
Local schools in the town opened on Saturday to support students as the community comes to term with the tragedy.
Members of the community and local politicians expressed their shock at the tragedy, with local TD Mattie McGrath saying that ‘a time of celebration has turned to a time of devastation’.
He said Clonmel had been ‘left numbed’ by the loss and that it would ‘take some time to recover’, but that the community would rally around those grieving the losses.
Local sporting events and the Clonmel Pride parade, as well as other activities in the area, have been cancelled in the wake of the fatal crash.
A parish priest has asked the community to look after one another in the days ahead and the minister of education has pledged support for school staff and students affected.
Police at the scene of the crash this morning where a 24-year-old man, and three 18-year-old girls were all fatally injured in car crash in Ireland
A Garda spokesperson revealed last night that the road will remain closed today while the scene is examined by forensic investigators
Ireland’s premier Leo Varadkar said the nation is mourning their deaths as the minister for education Norma Foley pledged support for students and staff.
‘Leaving Cert results night should mark the beginning of a world of opportunities for young people. It’s a milestone on the road from childhood to adulthood.
‘For young lives, so full of possibility, to be cut short in this way is truly devastating and heartbreaking. The whole nation mourns them.
‘My sincere condolences to the families and friends of those who have died and the wider community in Clonmel and Tipperary. The thoughts of the whole country are with them, their school and their community.
‘I am assured that the school authorities and HSE will work together to put in place the necessary supports for their classmates and community. We must come together in times such as this.’
Tánaiste Micheál Martin, Ireland’s deputy leader and minister for foreign affairs said: ‘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.’
It is believed that the vehicle lost control after it was travelling downhill and overturned before near the entrance of the Hillview Sports Club
An image of forensic collision investigators examining the scene of the crash this morning in Clonmel, Co Tipperary
Father Michael Toomey, administrator in the parishes of Ardfinnan, Ballybacon & Grange, said the victims’ families had expressed gratitude to the emergency services who attended the scene.
‘Sometimes no words seem adequate when a tragedy like what occurred in Clonmel tonight happens. No words can give comfort at this time,’ he said on Facebook.
‘My thoughts and prayers are with the families tonight who suffered a terrible loss in this terrible accident.
‘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.’
He added: ‘Of course, my thoughts and prayers are with the four young people who tragically lost their lives tonight, to their families, and their friends, on what should have been one of the happiest nights of their lives.
‘Please, look out for one another in these days, and don’t be afraid to look for help and support in the coming days.’