‘Loss of our beautiful son and brother is no one’s fault’

THE parents of one of the eight victims of the Inishowen crash have reached out to the driver and sole survivor of the accident.

Eamonn and Claire Sweeney told mourners at their son Ciarán’s funeral yesterday, that they do not blame Seán Kelly, 21, for the accident.

Seán Kelly was driving the black VW Passat that was involved in the two-car collision between Buncrana and Clonmany on Sunday night.

Bachelor Hughie Friel, 66, and Mr Kelly’s seven passengers, were all killed instantly. He remains in intensive care in hospital.

Eamonn Sweeney said: “Claire, Rory, Owen, Orla and myself want it to be made perfectly clear that we don’t... blame Seán or anyone else, in any way, for the loss of our beautiful son and brother.

“The Kelly family will always be welcomed into our home with open arms.”

Butcher’s apprentice Ciarán was going out with Seán Kelly’s sister Catherine Anne Kelly. His parents said they know their son was in love.

Mr Sweeney said: “We are so glad that Ciarán found love of a different kind outside our home in meeting his girlfriend, Catherine Anne. We know he loved her, as do we and he really could not have met a nicer girl.”

He said: “Ciarán gave us almost 20 years of love and happiness. Our memories of Ciarán are all good ones and we could not be any more proud of our son.

“In particular, we thank the boys and girls who are Ciarán’s friends. We thank them for the craic we had with them as well as the craic they all had together.

“We would like all his friends to continue visiting our home.”

Hundreds of people packed into St Mary’s Church, Clonmany, where just that morning they had attended the funeral of Paul Doherty. The community rallied around to provide tea and refreshments in the local parish hall for all the mourners between the first and second funeral. Mass was celebrated by family friend Fr Michael Sweeney who said he would sorely miss Ciarán and his friends.

Meanwhile, Ciarán’s heartbroken dad said his son always looked forward to the annual Clonmany Music Festival in August as well as Oxegen. He didn’t go to Oxegen for the music, just “the craic”, he said.

“The death of Ciarán causes us great pain, but, a huge feeling of happiness and pride lives and breathes in us as well.

“We feel we are the luckiest parents in the world to have had a son like Ciarán. Claire and I, we loved him very much,” Mr Sweeney said.

Ciarán’s was one of four funerals that took place yesterday. Both he and his “great pal” Paul now rest side-by-side in graves under a sycamore tree in a corner of Clonmany cemetery at the edge of the village.


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