Boyfriend of girl, 18, killed with brother & pals describes running to horror crash scene after haunting last message | The Sun

THE boyfriend of Grace McSweeney, who was one of four killed in a tragic crash in Clonmel, Co Tipperary on Friday, has told of how he rushed to the crash scene just moments after he received a final text from her.

Grace, 18, her brother Luke McSweeney, 24, and two pals Nicole Murphy, 18, and Zoey Coffey, 18, sadly lost their lives after the car they were travelling in went out of control and overturned close to the entrance of Hillview Sports Club on Mountain Road.

Gardai and emergency services rushed to the single-vehicle collision at around 7.30pm, but sadly, all four were pronounced dead at the scene.

In a heartbreaking tribute, Aaron Costin, who had been in a relationship with Grace for two years, said the day he met the Leaving Cert student was "one of the happiest days" of his life.

He told The Sunday Times: "Probably the first day I met Grace was one of the happiest days of my life. We just clicked. She was the love of my life."

Aaron said he received a message on Snapchat from Grace before she got into the car and described the devastating moment he learned of the crash as he desperately ran towards the scene, hoping Grace was not involved.

He said: "I looked at locations [on the Snapchat app] and I saw where her location was.

"Then, I got a phone call from one of my friends saying there was a crash up in Hillview. I was like, that's her road.

"I ran from one side of the town over as quick as I could, but I couldn't get up because the guards had it all blocked off."

He added: "There was something in me that didn't want to believe it was their car, but I could see the car, and then I knew what it was. It was hard."



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Aaron and Grace met at a party hosted by Zoey, who was also killed in the crash.

He described the friends' close relationship, saying that the girls "together were just wild fun, adding: "You couldn't separate them."

Aaron's emotional tribute comes as a vigil is to be held to remember the four young people this evening.

Hundreds of people are expected to gather at 6.30pm in the Denis Burke Park in Clonmel.

Yesterday evening, the girl's principals paid tribute to their talented students.

Zoey and Grace had attended Presentation Secondary School in Clonmel, while Nicole attended neighbouring school, Loreto.


Stunned teachers told of how all three girls had received excellent exam results and were looking forward to embarking on the next phase of their lives.

Michael O'Loughlin, principal of Presentation Secondary School, said: "Today, our school and our town are covered in a cloud of ­sadness and devastation.

"This morning, we mourn the loss of our Leaving Certificate students Zoey Coffey and Grace McSweeney, who lost their lives in yesterday's tragic accident. 

"We also remember Grace's brother, Luke McSweeney and Nicole Murphy, a student from our neighbouring school, Loreto.

"Zoey and Grace received their Leaving Cert results yesterday and were about to embark on a new chapter in their lives.

"A day of celebration is now replaced by unbearable grief and a sense of great loss for our local community. Our school community is in mourning today. No words can express our sorrow, pain and grief."


Mr O'Loughlin continued: "Zoey and Grace were two beautiful students, loved by everyone who met them and achieved such excellent results on Friday."

Principal Anne McGrath from Loreto Clonmel described Nicole as a "highly regarded" student and a "loyal friend."

She said: "No words can express our sorrow, pain and grief. Nicole was a beautiful student, highly regarded by staff and students alike.

"During her time in Loreto, she developed into a young woman who was kind, gentle and witty, and she was a trusted and loyal friend."

The principal admitted the school community was struggling to come to terms with "the shocking news".

Ms McGrath continued: "Nicole achieved excellent Leaving Certificate results yesterday and was looking forward with excitement to starting the next phase of her life.

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"Yesterday's celebrations are now replaced by such unbearable grief and a sense of great loss for our local community.

"In particular, we are thinking of Nicole's parents, Serena and Declan, her older sister (our past pupil) Zoe, her brother Ryan, her extended family and her close friends. We are keeping them all in our thoughts and prayers."

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