Clonmel Families Facing "Tough Days Ahead" Following Crash

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The families of the victims from Friday night's fatal car crash in Clonmel, co Tipperary, will face "a very tough few days and years ahead", following this horrendous loss, according to a cousin of two of the victims involved in the crash.

On Friday night, 18 year old Nicole Murphy from Ballypatrick, Zoey Coffey 18, from Kilsheelan, along with siblings Grace & Luke McSweeney aged 18 and 24 respectively, were killed in a single-vehicle crash. 

It is understood that Luke was driving the car, as the four were planning to meet friends and a celebration event in Carlow. with Nicole, Zoey and Grace having received their Leaving Cert results earlier that day.

Last night, a vigil was held in KIckham Plaza, in honour of the four victims, which saw an estimated 2,000 people attend.

"Luke and Grace are my cousins, so it's extremely sad", said Harry Phelan a cousin of Grace and Luke McSweeney. 

He continued, "It's a big shock. We're very close, we grew up with Luke and Grace and their siblings Mark and David, so it's very, very sad. A big shock, but it's great that the community in Clonmel came out this evening to support everyone". 

When asked about how the family are coping at this devastating loss, Phelan added, "Struggling, but they've really good people around them to support them and get them through. They can't really put into words and I suppose it hasn't really hit them yet, and it will be a very tough days and years ahead". 

Phelan also said that he was grateful for those who attended the vigil, adding that it was "definitely" a consolation to see so many paying their respects. "They can find some small encouragement I suppose, and some small hope in the community in Clonmel", Phelan stated. 

School friends of the victims who wore their 'Class of 2023' hoodies in their honour, paid tribute to the designer of these hoodies, Zoey Coffey, saying that she was someone who "cracked a joke at everything".

"Her friends were everything, she put everyone before herself. She was such an organiser, if it was your birthday she would have the message typed out and sent at 12.01am", they revealed. 

They also added that seeing some many people at the vigil "meant so much". 

The funerals of Luke and Grace are to take place on Friday, at St Peter and St Paul's Church in the town, while funeral arrangements for Zoey and Nicole have yet to be announced.

A garda investigation into the crash is ongoing. 

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