Scene of fatal Donegal crash a 'tragedy unfolding'

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By Rebecca Black, Michael McHugh and Alexander Britton, Press Association

The scene of a road crash in which four young men were killed in Co Donegal has been described as a "tragedy unfolding".

Gardai were called to the incident involving a single car on a road near Magheraroarty, Gortahork, at 8.40pm on Sunday.

The fire and rescue and ambulance services also attended the scene in a remote area on a narrow local road, close to a bridge.

Four men in the car, aged in their twenties, were treated by emergency workers but died at the scene.

The men have been named locally as John Harley, 24, and Shaun Harkin, 22, from Falcarragh, Michael Roarty, 24, from Gweedore, and Daniel Scott, from Gort an Choirce, who was in his twenties.

Members of their families gathered at the scene on Sunday night.

Superintendent David Kelly described the scene as "difficult".

(Garda Superintendent David Kelly at Bunbeg Garda Station)


"Garda attended the scene and found a single vehicle, a silver Toyota hatchback, at the scene," he told media during a press conference at Bunbeg Garda station.

"Four young men were receiving medical attention, also in attendance were the Donegal Fire and Rescue Service and the Ambulance Service.

"Unfortunately the four young men were pronounced dead at the scene.

"It was a difficult scene as you can imagine, nine o'clock at night, it was dark, people gathering, family members attended. It was a tragedy unfolding.

"I would like to offer our condolences to the families of the deceased, their friends and the local community.

"I'd also like to make an appeal for information, if anyone had seen the silver Toyota Corolla prior to 8.40pm or earlier in the evening to contact the gardai at Millford Garda station on 074 9153060."

Gortahork parish priest Fr Sean O Gallchoir said people in the community were totally numb.

He told RTE it is "just beyond belief, they just are totally devastated, shocked".

Mr Roarty was a well known figure in GAA circles.

Dublin City University, where he had attended, tweeted that Mr Roarty and the other victims of the crash are being remembered today during meetings and games.

Donegal Fine Gael public representative Joe McHugh tweeted: "Terrible news from West Donegal. Thoughts with families & friends of the 4 men & all who knew them."

Donegal Sinn Fein public representative Pearse Doherty said there was a "cloud of sadness" over the area.

Fianna Fail TD for Donegal Pat the Cope Gallagher said the whole community has been "left reeling in the aftermath of this tragedy".

"It is shocking to think that four young men, with their whole lives ahead of them, have died in this horrific incident," he said.

"My thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of these men. I know the community will rally around the families over the tough days and weeks ahead."

Garda forensic collision investigators attended the scene in the North West.

Donegal has seen several major tragedies on the roads in recent years.

In July 2010, eight men died near Buncrana after a vehicle left the road, and the driver was later prosecuted.

Last year, two people were killed and three injured in a crash in Bundoran.

The vehicle they were travelling in hit a wall.

Meanwhile, a man aged in his eighties died after the car he was driving collided with a pole in Castlecorner, Co Kilkenny, on Sunday night.

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