The town of Clonmel is “devastated” following the tragic deaths of four young people last night, according to a local school chaplain.
A man in his early 20s and three teenage girls died in a single-vehicle road crash just outside the Tipperary town last night.
The three girls had just received their Leaving Cert results and were on their way to celebrate with friends when the crash happened.
C.B.S High School Clonmel Chaplain Father Michael Toomey, who was at the scene of the crash last night, said the “whole town is affected by this”.
“Everybody has been impacted by this terrible tragedy,” he said.
“Last night was meant to be a night of great celebration for the Leaving Cert students, but now the tragedy has rippled through the whole community.”
'Be there for one another'
Loreto Secondary School, Presentation Secondary School and the High School, where the victims had attended, opened this morning to offer support to those affected by the deaths.
Fr Toomey encouraged young people “to get support and help by being there for one another”.
“Be together and let us help you get through as best you can” he said.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar offered his condolence to the families and friends of those who died.
“[The Leaving Cert] is a milestone on the road from childhood to adulthood,” he 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.”
'School communities are akin to tight-knit families'
Education Minister Norma Foley said she was “saddened beyond measure” to learn of the crash.
“School communities in Ireland are akin to tight-knit families,” she said.
“I know this morning that staff, students, parents and guardians will be united in their grief and utter devastation at this tragic and sudden loss of life.”
Additional reporting by Aoife Kearns.
Main image: The scene of the road crash in Clonmel, Co Tipperary, where four young people died, 26/08/2023. Image: Aoife Kearns for Newstalk.