Video: Tributes to four young footballers killed in Donegal crash

Tributes have been paid in Seanad Éireann to the four young men from the Donegal Gaeltacht killed in a tragic road accident in Meenacladdy on Sunday.

Wednesday, 30th January 2019, 12:28 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 7:49 pm
Meenacladdy, where the accident occurred.

John Harley (24), Shaun Harkin (22), Mícheál Roarty (24) and Daniel Scott (also in his 20s) are due to be laid to rest in Cloughaneely and Gweedore tomorrow.

On Tuesday members of the Seanad paid tribute to the four young road traffic victims who were all from 'the Three Parishes'.

They did so, fittingly, following an address by the President of the GAA John Horan, who joined the tributes. All four of the young men were talented footballers.

Meenacladdy, where the accident occurred.

Fianna Fáil Senator Robbie Gallagher, who is originally from Termon, about 20 or so miles from the scene of the crash, said he knew the communities of Cloughaneely and Gweedore and the GAA clubs to which they belonged would rally to the young men's friends and families.

He said: "A dark cloud hangs over that part of Donegal, where four young men lost their lives. I extend my sympathy to the extended families and the community of west Donegal as they try to come to terms with the horror that happened last Sunday night.

"It should be remembered that the four young men, all in their 20s, who lost their lives were all members of GAA clubs. I have no doubt that the GAA community in west Donegal and throughout the rest of the county will put its arms around the families and others in the community as they try to come to terms with the tragedy.

"The four young men in their 20s were members of Cloughaneely or Gaoth Dobhair GAA clubs. John Harley was captain of Cloughaneely GAA club in 2016 and 2017, and was player of the year in the latter year.

"Shaun Harkin and Daniel Scott were also members of the Cloughaneely club, while Mícheal Roarty was a member of the Gaoth Dobhair club, where he won an all-Ireland vocational schools medal, and played at minor level for Donegal.

"Mr. Horan pinpointed many aspects of the GAA and its qualities. As I said, it will wrap its arms around the families and the community of west Donegal in the tough few days that lie ahead.

"It is another example of the GAA's fantastic work and of how it touches every parish and community in the country."

The Fianna Fáil leader in the Seanad Catherine Ardagh is the daughter-in-law of the former captain of the Donegal senior football team Pauric McShea.

She said: "Communities come together around the GAA, as we have seen over the last day in the context of the tragic road accident in Donegal. I understand all four of the victims were proud supporters of their local GAA clubs.

"All the GAA clubs came out and rallied and made statements about the tragedy. It shows how much the GAA means to communities and how much communities mean to the GAA."

The GAA president said the loss of the four young sportsmen will be deeply felt.

"On a sad note, I concur with the comments of Senators Gallagher and Ardagh on the loss of four of our members in Donegal. It is an area I know well.

"In fact, I attended the dinner dance of the Cloughaneely GAA club on December 28, 2018 when Fr. Sean Ó Gallchóir was MC on the night.

"I saw his name quoted in the newspapers over the last few days as he visited the scene and the bereaved families of those young lads we have lost. I have been in touch also with the chairman of Donegal County Council, who is also a member of our managing committee.

"The Ulster council and the Donegal county board have rowed in, as the GAA always does, in support of those families in their deeply sad loss," said Mr. Horan.