Parents of crash teenagers need ‘help and prayers’

alana harkin and thomas gallagher
Image caption,Alana Harkin and Thomas Gallagher’s loss has hit the community hard

The families of two teenagers killed in a single-vehicle crash in the Republic of Ireland will need “support, help and prayers” in the difficult days ahead, a local priest has said.

The teenagers, named locally as Thomas Gallagher and Alana Harkin, died in County Donegal in the early hours of Monday.

They had been travelling home from work.

Fr Jim McGonagle said their deaths have hit the local community like a “big bang”.

“The rest of us, we feel it, but the parents in particular of the two who have died are in a shocking state at the moment,” he said.

“They need our support, they need our help and they need our prayers. No doubt this will be forthcoming.”

Alana, 18, had left Carndonagh Community School earlier this year, while Thomas, also 18, was a student at Moville Community College, Fr McGonagle said.

They had found jobs to “try and make a little bit of money, to get their independence” and their “futures were reaching out in front of them”.

The community, he added, was “finding it very, very difficult” to come to terms with their deaths.

“This is a community where everybody knows everybody else,” he said.

‘Heartbroken for everyone’

The crash happened near Gleneely, on the road between Moville and Carndonagh in Inishowen at 00:30 local time.

A third teenager, a man in his late teens, was taken to hospital but his injuries are said to be non-life threatening.

Simpson’s Bar and Restaurant, where Alana Harkin worked, posted on Facebook that she would be sorely missed.

Moville Community College Parents Association said: “We are heartbroken for everyone who has been devastated by the loss of precious life.”

Funerals for both teenagers are due to take place in Inishowen on Friday.

Four people were killed in three separate crashes in the Republic of Ireland on Monday.

A total of 165 people have been killed on Irish roads so far in 2023 – 39 more people than at the same point in 2022.

Gardaí have asked anyone who witnessed the crash, particularly anyone with dashcam footage, to come forward.

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