Four young people who died in a road crash in Co Tipperary have been named by Irish police. Zoey Coffey, 18, Nicole Murphy, 18, Grace McSweeney, 18 and Luke McSweeney, 24, the driver of the car, were killed in the incident that took place on Friday evening (August 25).
According to reports, one car was involved in the tragedy, which happened on Mountain Road in the town of Clonmel. The victims, who are all understood to be from the local area, are believed to have been on their way to celebrate the results of their Leaving Certificate exams they received earlier.
Education minister Simon Harris TD said there was "grief, shock and sadness" after the "devastating" and "heartbreaking" incident. On X (formerly known as Twitter), he posted: “Leaving Cert results day represents achievement, celebration and excitement. Tonight that has been replaced by grief, shock and sadness... There are no words. Heartbreaking."
RTE reported that the incident happened close to the entrance of Hillview Sports Club. The crash scene was closed overnight to allow investigations to take place. The report added that the car was travelling downhill and is believed to have gone out of control and overturned.
In a statement, Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar 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. 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 (the health service) will work together to put in place the necessary support for their classmates and community. We must come together in times such as this."
Reacting to the fatal crash in Co Tipperary, DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said: “This morning our hearts go out to the families and community in Clonmel who have suffered such a devastating loss.“How quickly joy can turn to tragedy as we are all reminded of the uncertainty of life.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with each family and with the emergency and healthcare services who attended the scene or are caring for others at this time.”
The Leaving Certificate Examination, often referred to as the Leaving Cert, is the final exam of the Irish secondary school system.
Vigil to be held in memory
Following their tragic deaths, a vigil is to be held in Denis Burke Park in Clonmel, Co Tipperary, in memory of the four young victims. The event begins at 6.30pm on Saturday (August 26) and prayers will be led by local clergy and the Mayor of Clonmel, Councillor Richie Molloy.
A book of condolences will be opened in council offices from 11am on Monday morning.