'No words can give comfort': Four young people die in Tipperary tragedy

'No words can give comfort': Four young people die in Tipperary tragedy

FOUR young people have lost their lives following a collision in Co. Tipperary on Friday evening.

A male driver in his 20s and three female passengers died in the single-vehicle collision in Clonmel.

It is believed the three women, all adult teenagers, had received their Leaving Cert results earlier on Friday and the group were on their way to a party to celebrate.

Tipperary priest Fr Michael Toomey, who has been comforting the families, said the tragedy occurred 'on what should have been one of the happiest nights of their lives'.

Investigating gardaí have also urged people to show respect to those involved after a drone was spotted at the collision scene.

Gardaí plea

The tragedy occurred at around 7.30pm on Mountain Road in Clonmel.

The bodies of the deceased were taken to South Tipperary General Hospital, where post-mortem examinations are due be conducted in the coming days.

The road remains closed with Garda Forensic Collision Investigators due to conduct an examination of the scene today.

Gardaí have appealed for witnesses to contact them but have also been forced to tell people not to share images of the scene.

"Gardaí are aware that images of the immediate aftermath of this collision are being shared on social media and messaging applications," read a statement.

“Gardaí are also aware of the presence of a private drone over the collision scene during the aftermath of the road traffic collision.

"An Garda Síochána are appealing to the public not to share any of this material, if received, out of respect for the privacy of the deceased and their family and friends."

'A terrible loss'

The request was reiterated by Fr Toomey, who serves parishes in Tipperary and neighbouring Waterford.

Having spent time with the families of the deceased on Friday night, the priest said speculation about the tragedy and sharing images would only compound their suffering.

Instead, he urged the local community to come together to support each other over the difficult days ahead.

"Sometimes no words seem adequate when a tragedy like what occurred in Clonmel tonight happens," he said.

"No words can give comfort at this time.

"My thoughts and prayers are with the families tonight who suffered a terrible loss in this terrible accident.

"Being with them this evening I know they are so grateful to all of the emergency services and to everyone who helped them this evening.

"The local schools will be in touch tomorrow to help the entire community and to be there for everyone at this time.

"I also ask, as the Gardaí have requested, that social media images not be circulated or rumours be put out there so as not to cause any further distress to these heartbroken families at this time.

"Of course, my thoughts and prayers are with the four young people who tragically lost their lives tonight, to their families, and their friends, on what should have been one of the happiest nights of their lives.

"Please, look out for one another in these days, and don't be afraid to look for help and support in the coming days."

'Grief, shock and sadness'

Education Minister Simon Harris, who earlier in the day had been congratulating Leaving Cert students, offered his condolences to the friends and families of those affected.

"Devastating news from Clonmel," he tweeted.

"Leaving Cert results day represents achievement, celebration and excitement.

"Tonight that has been replaced by grief, shock and sadness.

"Thinking of the families, friends and school community of the four young people.

"There are no words. Heartbreaking."

An incident room has been set up at Clonmel Garda Station and a senior investigating officer has been appointed to lead the investigation.

Gardaí are appealing for any witnesses to the collision to contact the investigation team.

Any road users who may have camera footage (including dash-cam) and were travelling in the Mountain Road area between 7pm and 7.45pm on Friday are asked to make this footage available to gardaí.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Clonmel Garda Station on 052 617 7640, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any garda station.