'The ground was littered with people' – Witnesses tell of horror scene after 'priest fell ill' at wheel' and injured seven outside Dublin church
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'The ground was littered with people' – Witnesses tell of horror scene after 'priest fell ill' at wheel' and injured seven outside Dublin church

WITNESSES to a horror road collision which injured several people outside a church in Dublin this morning have recalled the "shocking" incident.

Seven people were injured after a priest "fell ill" and lost control of his car outside Immaculate Conception Church in Clondalkin at around 10.20am.

A funeral had been due to take place at the church at 10am.

The ceremony was postponed in the aftermath of the incident but has since recommenced. The car involved remains at the scene.

It’s understood that at least four people have been hospitalised - two in a critical condition - at St James's Hospital, Tallaght Hospital and Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown.

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Gardaí said the driver - understood to be a clergyman - had "fell ill" immediately prior to the incident.

One witness to the collision said that people were trapped under the car after it ran them over.

“It happened as I arrived, and there were people trapped under the car, and just from listening to people they said [the driver] had a heart attack and crashed into people," he said.

"It’s really shocking, to see the people trapped and the injuries involved, it really was shocking.

"The emergency services were coming in the gate, and people were screaming and crying, things like that you know. The whole village was closed off, the hearse had to continue up the road to let people in".

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Another witness, Maureen McNulty, told the Journal: "People thought it was a bomb, that’s how loud it was”.

She added: “There was one man caught underneath the car, and another caught at the front. A lot of men tried to lift the car off him and couldn’t do it, so they had to let car back down again.

“There were people running everywhere. The driver sort of fell in the passenger seat, and then there were people looking after him. There were a lot of people just slightly injured, but in terrible shock.

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“The place was littered with people on the ground. I just said you’re going to need a half dozen ambulances. It was so frightening."

A parish spokesperson said priests and staff of the Parish of the Immaculate Conception wished to express their sympathies to the people injured in the incident.

"They are keeping all involved in their prayers at this difficult time," the spokesperson said.

"Parish staff worked closely with emergency services in the aftermath of the incident to assist where they could."