Local residents around the Donahies estate where Peter O’Rourke, 18, Anthony Murphy, 18, and 21-year-old Aston Ryan hung out together, were visibly upset as news of the accident filtered swiftly through the close-knit community.
Most declined to talk to reporters as they tried to make sense of the manner in which the three young men with bright futures had their lives taken away in a fleeting moment when their car hit an ESB pole near Sutton.
Peter and Anthony, who were both final-year students at Mount Temple, had finished their final subject in the Leaving Cert exams on Thursday afternoon.
Both spent the last hours of their lives celebrating near Peter’s house, a short distance from where Aston, an electrician, also lived.
The two survivors of the accident, Keith Bolger and Ruairí Conroy, also live in the same cul-de-sac where
Peter’s family reside.
A friend of the dead men, who declined to give his name, explained how groups of local teenagers had gathered around the estate on Thursday evening to celebrate the end of the Leaving Cert.
“Peter and Anthony had just finished their final exam in engineering. They were in great form and just looking forward to the summer holidays.”
Another youth, Gary Kells, who was invited to join the victims in the car, was reported to be in deep shock.
Friends of the deceased, including students from Mount Temple, gathered at the scene of the accident to lay wreaths in memory of their pals.
Jim Casey, vice-principal of Mount Temple, yesterday expressed shock at the news that two of the school’s pupils had died so tragically.
“Peter and Anthony had completed their last exams on Thursday. They cheerfully waved goodbye to the staff and had bright futures ahead of them.
Their deaths are a huge loss to their families and our thoughts and prayers are with them at this tragic time.
“Our thoughts also go out to the others involved in this terrible accident and to their families. This has shocked the entire student body and staff of our school and we are greatly saddened.”
Garda forensic experts yesterday began a technical examination of the vehicle to determine the exact cause of the crash.
Meanwhile, an ESB crew carried out repairs at the scene of the accident to restore electricity after the impact of the collision had damaged wires supplying power to several houses in the area.