The deaths of four young people in Friday’s horror car crash has affected “everybody in the town”, a local priest has said.
Twenty-four-year Luke McSweeny was taking his sister Grace McSweeny, 18, and her friends Zoey Coffey and Nicole Murphy, also 18, to a celebration for their Leaving Cert results when the car they were in crashed on Mountain Road.
Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast, Fr Michael Toomey said it had been a “very long couple of days” for the community.
“I would have known Luke more so because I’m the chaplain in the High School, so I knew Luke,” he said.
“He left in 2017; [he was] a great rugby player and a great character.
“Unfortunately, I didn’t know the girls personally but sadly, I was the scene on Friday evening.
“I met the families at the hospital, grieved with them and we said a prayer with their loved ones.”
On Sunday, mourners gathered in Clonmel for a vigil to remember those four young people and Fr Toomey believes there were upwards of 3,000 people in attendance.
“In the last couple of days, my focus and the focus of the school has been to support the friends of the three girls who sadly lost their lives,” he said.
“But also, we want to acknowledge that this has affected everybody in the whole town and we wanted people to come together for people to [pay their] respects and for them to grieve.
“It was wonderful in one way, to see so many generations of people there last night.”
The vigil was non-denominational and there were representatives of the Catholic Church, the Church of Ireland and the Muslim faith as well.
“You [could] hear a pin drop for the whole 45 minutes - it was just so respectful, despite there being thousands of people there,” Fr Toomey said.
Announcing their deaths on RIP.ie, the McSweeney family said Luke and Grace will be “sadly missed” and “their precious lives will never be forgotten” by those who love them.
No funeral details for any of the four have been announced.
Main image: Mourners attend a vigil for the victims of the crash. Picture by: RollingNews.ie