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The coffin containing the body of Dlava Mohamed is carried out of the family home in Clones. PA - Alamy

Hundreds of people form guard of honour for Debs ball crash victim

Hundreds of people form guard of honour for Debs ball crash victim.

LAST UPDATE | 2 Aug 2023

HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE have formed a guard of honour in Clones for 16-year-old Dlava Mohamed, one of two teenagers killed in a car crash while travelling to a Debs ball in Co Monaghan.

Members of the community gathered in the town square as the hearse brought the body of Dlava, who had just completed her Junior Cert, to her family home on Wednesday evening.

The white coffin was then carried back out of the family home and is expected to be brought back on Thursday morning ahead of a funeral service in Dublin.

Women stood at the door of the family home and sang a lament as those gathered along the town’s streets stood in silence.

A book of condolences will be opened on Friday morning for Dlava and her friend Kiea McCann, 17, in their school – Largy College. Kiea also died after the car they had been travelling in veered off the road and hit a tree.

the-hearse-carrying-the-remains-of-dlava-mohamed-arrives-at-the-family-home-in-clones-co-monaghan-dlava-16-and-kiea-mccann-17-both-students-at-largy-college-in-clones-were-killed-and-three-ot The hearse carrying the remains of Dlava Mohamed arrives at the family home in Clones, Co. Monaghan. PA / Alamy PA / Alamy / Alamy

As the body of Kiea was brought home to Clones, the hearse paused for a moment outside Dlava’s family home.

A funeral mass for Kiea will be held at Sacred Heart Chapel in Clones at 2pm on Thursday.

She will later be laid to rest in Mount St Oliver’s Cemetery in the town.

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A funeral will be held for Dlava at Clonskeagh Mosque in Dublin on Thursday afternoon, and she will be laid to rest later in the day at Newcastle Muslim Cemetery in Dublin.

The principal of the teenagers’ secondary school said the girls had been “best friends” since Dlava arrived in Clones as part of a resettlement programme for Syrians.

“Dlava was always smiling, she was gorgeous, so loyal and bubbly, and she was always very happy,” Largy College principal Sharon Magennis told RTE Radio.

“She really had a goodness and she was just full of energy.”

Magennis said Kiea had completed the Leaving Certificate Applied programme and was “pleasant and courteous”.

She had a great love of children and she had hoped to go on to study childcare at third level, and now that is a dream that will just not be realised.”

LARGY COLLEGE DLAVA AND KIEA Dlava Mohamed, 16, (L) and Kiea, 17, McCann died after a car they were passengers in crashed on Monday evening. Largy College Largy College

“We’re just heartbroken at this time. Words can’t describe how our school, our community of Clones is feeling at this time,” their principal said.

The victims’ families were said to be “hugely devastated” and suffering from shock in the aftermath of the crash, in which the three other occupants of the car were injured.

Largy College said in a statement that paid tribute to both girls this evening that Dlava was a student “who would always have a warm smile and a gentle hello when she met you on the school corridor”.

Dlava’s determination shone through in everything she did. She was hard working and resilient.”

“She had settled in so well to the Clones area and the Largy College community and was an integral part of our Third Year group.

“Dlava was a very moral young girl who had a strong sense of right and wrong and the courage of her convictions to express these,” the statement said.

Largy College said Kiea was frequently described as “simply a lovely student to teach”.

The school said: “Throughout her years attending Largy College she was always pleasant and courteous to her teachers and fellow students.

Kiea was a friendly, kind and warm-hearted girl, who always demonstrated a willingness to support others. She was never afraid to give up her time to help her peers.”

Largy College said its school community is “heartbroken” and “devastated” by the loss of both Kiea and Dlava, and said it was tragic that they will never get to see the potential that both young women had.

An 18-year-old woman is in a critical but stable condition at Cavan General Hospital, while a 60-year-old man remains in a critical condition at Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital.

An 18-year-old man suffered non life-threatening injuries.

The scene on the N54 Clones to Smithborough road at Legnakelly was closed to allow for a forensic examination of the scene but has since reopened.

people-form-a-guard-of-honour-as-the-hearse-carrying-the-remains-of-kiea-mccann-travels-on-its-way-to-the-family-home-in-clones-co-monaghan-kiea-17-and-dlava-mohamed-16-both-students-at-largy-c People form a guard of honour as the hearse carrying the remains of Kiea McCann travels on its way to the family home in Clones yesterday. Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Superintendent Patrick O’Connell said members of the victims’ families visited the scene on Monday night.

“[They are] suffering from shock and trauma. They were at the scene last night, so they’re trying to deal with the whole aftermath of that, and we’re there to try and support them,” he said.

O’Connell added that gardai and the victims’ relatives were “eternally grateful” to members of the public who stopped to offer their help at the scene of the crash.

He also thanked the “brilliant” emergency services who attended the “harrowing scene” on Monday night.

A senior investigating officer has been appointed to the case, which is being directed from Monaghan Garda Station.

Gardai are appealing to people who witnessed the incident which took place at 6.45pm on Monday, or who have footage of a stretch of the N54 between Clones and Smithborough between 6.15pm and 7pm on Monday, to get in touch with gardai.

Additional reporting by Muiris O’Cearbhaill

Press Association