herald

Saturday 22 September 2018

Horror crash victims were returning from holiday

Gardai at the scene of the incident near Aclint Bridge
Gardai at the scene of the incident near Aclint Bridge
Racheal Battles
Victim Mairead Mundy at her wedding
Mairead with mum, Margaret McGonagle

Three women, including a mother and daughter, who were killed in a horrific car crash were returning from a two-week holiday to Turkey.

Mairead Mundy (39), her mother, Margaret McGonagle (69) and close friend, Racheal Battles (37), all from Bruckless, Co Donegal, were killed in the smash in the early hours of yesterday.

Ms Battles' six-year-old daughter was in the same car and was hospitalised following the accident.

Anniversary

Sources said she was receiving treatment at Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Crumlin and is expected to recover from her injuries.

The group of family and friends had been travelling home from their trip, which is believed to have been in celebration of Ms Mundy and her husband Padraic's first wedding anniversary.

All of the women lived in the same area in the small village near Killybegs.

The crash happened on the N2 near Aclint Bridge, a few kilometres north of Ardee, Co Louth, shortly before 1am and involved three cars.

The group had been travelling together in two of the three vehicles involved.

Two men injured in the collision are also in hospital, but their injuries are not life-threatening.

Supt Fergus Traynor, from Ardee Garda Station, said: "An ambulance that was travelling on the road came upon the accident and they were able to assist at the scene.

"An off-duty garda was also among the first people at the accident."

He added that a number of fire brigade and ambulance crews attended.

"The road was wet but it wasn't raining at the time of the accident. Later, weather conditions deteriorated horrendously with very heavy rain at the scene," said Supt Traynor.

Former local councillor John Boyle said the accident was a tragedy "almost incomparable to anything else" to have hit the village of Bruckless.

"I'm dumbfounded. Everyone knows them around here, everyone knows everyone around here. It's really sad," he said.

"It hasn't sunk in at all yet. This is a horrendous tragedy.

"They were all very, very good people, you couldn't get better."

Ms Mundy's young son, who recently made his confirmation, is now left without both parents, as his father died several years ago.

Parish priest Fr James Sweeney said he had never seen a tragedy like it in more than 30 years.

"People are still numb and I don't think people know how to feel," he said.

"They're still in shock, they've never had a tragedy like this before. "Never in my 32 years have I seen anything like this."

Fr Sweeney said there had not been a funeral in the area in nine months; now there will be three in the coming days.

The bodies arrived in Donegal from Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda late last night. Funeral arrangements were expected to be made public today.

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