reels post

All about News

Trending News

Families of Monaghan crash victims ‘hugely devastated and suffering from shock’

The families of the victims of a Co Monaghan road crash are “hugely devastated” and suffering from shock, while their school community has been overcome with “profound sadness and grief”.

Two teenage girls died and three others were injured while on the way to a Debs ball when the car they were travelling in crashed into a tree on the side of the N54, just outside Clones.

The teenage girls have been named as 16-year-old Dalava Mohammed and 17-year-old Kiea McCann.

An 18-year-old woman is in a critical but stable condition at Cavan General Hospital, while a 60-year-old man remains in a critical condition in Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital.

Road closure signs on the N54 outside Clones, Co Monaghan (Claudia Savage/PA)

An 18-year-old man also suffered non life-threatening injuries.

The scene on the N54 Clones to Smithborough road at Legnakelly was closed in the 24 hours after the crash took place, before being reopened on Tuesday evening following a forensic examination of the scene.

Speaking at Clones Garda Station on Tuesday night, Superintendent Patrick O’Connell said that the victims’ family members attended the scene on Monday night.

“(They are) suffering from shock and trauma. They were at the scene last night, so they’re trying to deal with the whole aftermath of that and we’re there to try and support them.

“We have family liaison officers appointed and we will continue over the days and weeks coming to continue to do that,” he said, asking that the families’ privacy be respected.

Mr O’Connell said that gardai and the families of the victims are “eternally grateful” to members of the public who stopped to give assistance at the scene of the crash.

He also thanked the “brilliant” first responders who attended the “harrowing scene” on Monday night.

“This was a particularly traumatic incident for everyone involved and I wish to acknowledge and thank all of the first responders who worked closely together – particularly members of An Garda Siochana, members of the ambulance and fire service, the hospital staff, and indeed members of the public who stopped to render assistance,” he said.

Principal of Largy College Sharon Magennis expressed her “deepest sympathies” to the families and friends of Dalava Mohammed and Kiea McCann.

She also expressed her gratitude to the first responders and gardai who responded to the incident and said their priority would now be on “the wellbeing and welfare of the students, parents and staff at this difficult time”.

Ms Magennis said in a statement: “It is with profound sadness and grief that we have learned about the devastating accident that resulted in the untimely and tragic loss of two cherished members of our school community.

“We extend our deepest sympathies to the families and friends who have tragically lost loved ones.

“The other individuals involved in the accident also remain in our thoughts and prayers at this time.”

Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys visited Largy College on Tuesday (Claudia Savage/PA)

She added: “We are grateful to the public for their deeply felt expression of support and ask that we be given the time and space to concentrate on supporting those in the school community who are most in need.”

Visiting Largy College on Tuesday, Social Protection Minister and local TD Heather Humphreys said that there was “a cloud over the town of Cones” and said that people feel “upset” and “numb” by the tragedy.

“It’s not easy because up in The Diamond (town square in Clones), the children last night all got ready, the girls especially were in their dresses and they were all ready for a great night out and it all, unfortunately, ended in tragedy.”

She said she had met some of the staff of the school.

“It is every parent’s worst nightmare because nobody expects to get that phone call.

“One of the parents was on the football field last night and she got the call to go.

“It’s just the shock and to think that this could happen to any child. And I know that many parents across the country are thinking all our children going to Debs, they start off a night full of fun and joy and then it ends up in tragedy.”

Sinn Féin TD for Cavan-Monaghan, Matt Carthy, told the PA news agency that it was “one of those moments where time stops still”.

“The local community here, as they do, rallied immediately offering support for the families, in the immediate instance to the young people who were attending the Debs,” he said.

“You can imagine the scenes in many houses and gatherings in advance of that as young people were getting dresses and make-up and hair and suits and all the things that you associated with what should be a very special occasion, and then they arrived, in some instances, to the Westenra Hotel not aware of what had happened – to learn that two of their friends had passed away and that others were in critical conditions in hospital.”

Superintendent O’Connell said a senior investigating officer had been appointed and a case conference had been held at Monaghan Garda Station, but could not give details of the focus of the Garda investigation.

“We are appealing for information and our primary concern at the moment is to support the families of those affected. But our investigation will progress at pace,” he said.

Gardaí are appealing to people who witnessed or have footage of the incident, which took place on a stretch of the N54 between Clones and Smithborough on Monday between 6.15pm and 7pm, to get in touch with gardaí.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *