Crash victims to be laid to rest this week

The funerals of the two young Buncrana teenagers tragically killed in a car crash early on Saturday morning will take place tomorrow and Thursday.

Tuesday, 2nd May 2017, 10:12 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:49 pm
A car is removed from the scene of Saturday's early morning crash in Inishowen in which two teenagers were killed.

The Requiem Mass for 17-years-old Nathan Dixon-Gill will be offered at 11.00 a.m. in St. Mary’s Church, Cockhill on Wednesday, while the Requiem Mass for 18-years-old Nathan Farrell will be offered at 11.00 a.m. on Thursday, also in Cockhill.

The two men were killed when the car they were travelling in was involved in a single vehicle collision on the R238 road between Quigley’s Point and Whitecastle at approximately 3.35 a.m. One of the men was pronounced dead at the scene, while the second died later in Altnagelvin Hospital. Three other men were also in the car at the time of the accident. Jimmy McKenna and Ricky Fegan are both being treated in Letterkenny Hospital, while Ronan Boyd is being treated in a hospital in Belfast.

It’s understood the men were travelling home from a nightclub in Redcastle when the accident occurred.

Both Nathan Dixon-Gill and Nathan Farrell were former students of Scoil Mhuire, in Buncrana, with both boys having completed their Leaving Certificate examinations last year.

Speaking to the ‘Journal,’ Senator Padraig MacLochlainn said the town of Buncrana had been “devastated again and again.”

“Buncrana has been impacted by so many multiple tragedies. The town is devastated again and again.

“Over the next number of days, everyone will come together to pay their respects to the two young men. People are heartbroken for their families, they were only young, starting out in life,” he said.

“After the wakes and funerals, their families will have to pick up the pieces. A lot of people attending the funerals will also have lost loved ones in a similar manner and this tragedy will bring it all back to them,” he added. “No parent should have to bury their child. It goes against everything we work for as parents. I know the two families involved and as a parent myself, I’m heartbroken for them.

“It’s just horrific, five young people out on a happy night out, one of them going to embark on a new phase of his life.

Please God the other three men make a full recovery.”

Colr Rena Donaghey said it has been a “very tough weekend” for the people of the Inishowen capital.

“The community is in total shock and disbelief and sadness. It has been a very tough weekend.

“The boys had really just left school. They were really young and had everything to live for. They were just starting out in life. In fact, one was due to start work in Scotland, but it was just not meant to be.

“They were at a disco and making their way home, but they didn’t get home. Their young lives were taken from them.

“I wish to express my sincere sympathies to the bereaved families and to the three boys who were injured. I hope they make a full recovery,” she said.

“We must also remember the emergency services and the clergy at this time, groups who have such a tough job to do to attend such scenes. It’s not easy,” she added.

Buncrana Parish Priest, Fr. Francis Bradley, said prayers had been offered for the two “good friends” at Sunday Masses in the parish.

Fr. Bradley said he had spoken with both of the teenagers’ families. “You’ll understand they are in tremendous shock and sadness. They are dumbfounded really by their loss; all generations - grandparents, parents siblings, friends - they’re just feeling the terrible pain of grief and loss.

“It’s relentless and they’re just having to come to terms with it. Our prayers are the only thing we can say and offer them hope in the hope of healing.

“Like every other young fella and groups of young fellas, they were cherished and cared for; worried about and loved and, as with anyone of their generation, there was hope for their future, but those hopes have been dashed and their futures cut short in such a tragic way.

“They were good friends and part of a group of good friends.”

The road between Quigley’s Point and Whitecastle was closed for some time on Saturday to facilitate an examination by Garda Forensic Collision Investigators.

Inspector David Murphy, from Buncrana Garda Station, told the ‘Journal’ Gardai were appealing for witnesses to make contact.

“Emergency services were alerted at 3.40 a.m. on Saturday, so we would appeal to anyone who may have been on the road between 3.00 a.m. and 3.40 a.m. to contact Gardai in Buncrana.

“If anyone has any information that might be helpful, we would like them to contact us in Buncrana. It might not seem overly relevant, but it could be important to the investigation,” he said.

“We would also like to extend our condolences to the family and friends of the deceased,” added Inspector Murphy.

Anyone with information should contact Buncrana Garda Station on 074-93-20540; the Garda Confidential Telephone Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.