FOUR young people who were killed in a tragic crash in Tipperary last night on their way to a Leaving Cert results celebration have been named by Gardai.
Luke McSweeney, 24, the driver of the car, his sister Grace McSweeney, Nicole Murphy and Zoey Coffey, all aged 18 years, died after the car they were travelling in struck a wall in Clonmel at around 7.30pm.
Following the incident, Gardai, supported by other emergency services, including Clonmel Fire Brigade, HSE Paramedics, Tipperary University Hospital and Tipperary County Council, initiated a major incident response.
The scene at Hillview remains closed today, and An Garda Síochána Forensic Collision investigators are carrying out a technical and forensic examination.
The remains of the deceased 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.
An incident room has been established at Clonmel Garda Station, and an investigation has commenced under a Senior Investigating Officer.
Gardai also confirmed at an address this afternoon that Family Liaison Officers have been appointed to each of the families to provide support and to keep them updated on the course of the investigation.
Superintendent Kieran Ruane, Clonmel Garda Station, said: “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.
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“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.
“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.
“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.
APPEAL FOR INFORMATION
“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.”
Concluding the address, Superintendent Ruane said: “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 afternoon President Michael D Higgins said "the grief expressed by the community is nearly unbearable.
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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.”
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