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Pallbearers carry the coffin of Kiea McCann after her funeral service at the Sacred Heart Chapel in Clones Alamy Stock Photo

'Community is heartbroken': Funerals held for two teenage girls who died in Monaghan crash

A service was held for Kiea McCann, 17, in Clones while a service was held for Dlava Mohamed, 16, in Dublin.

LAST UPDATE | 3 Aug 2023

FUNERAL SERVICES HAVE BEEN held for two teenage best friends who were killed after the car they were travelling in crashed while on the way to a Debs ball in Co Monaghan.

Kiea McCann and Dlava Mohamed died when the car they were travelling in left the road and crashed into a tree outside Clones, Co Monaghan.

The remains of 16-year-old Dlava were taken to the Islamic Cultural Centre in Dublin earlier today. 

A coach transporting family and friends of the teenager followed the cortege as it began the journey south from Co Monaghan. 

Her body was washed and shrouded according to the Islamic tradition in five pieces of white cloth.

Dlava Mohamed funeral-5 Dlava's coffin being taken into the Clonskeagh Mosque and Culture Centre ahead of her funeral Sam Boal / Sam Boal / /

Her funeral service took place this afternoon at the Islamic Cultural Centre.

Students from Largy College in Clones, Co Monaghan were among the gathered mourners. They formed a guard of honour as her coffin was carried from the Islamic Cultural Centre in Clonskeagh in Dublin.

“This tragedy has shocked not just her local community, but Ireland’s Muslim community, and indeed Ireland itself,” Sheik Hussein Halawa told those in attendance.

After the prayer service, Dr Ali Selim, a senior member of the Islamic Cultural Centre, said the tragedy had shocked the Muslim community across Ireland.

“It’s shocking for the community. I’d like to offer our sincere condolences to the whole family and the friends as well,” he said.

“The family members at this moment are unaware of the real sadness that they are going to face because there are a lot of people around them.

“I believe by the time they’re sitting around the table, and she’s not there for dinner, or when they go in her room, and she’s not in her room, that’s the time when they need support from everybody.”

She was later laid to rest in Newcastle Muslim Cemetery.

dandk Dlava Mohamed and Kiea Mc Cann

Kiea Mc Cann

A funeral mass for Kiea Mc Cann, 17, was also held at the Sacred Heart Chapel in Clones this afternoon. 

Students from Largy College and principal Sharon Magennis were among mourners who gathered outside the Sacred Heart Chapel in Clones.

A photograph of Kiea, in her formal dress is on the front page of the order of service for her funeral as well as a photograph of her with her Dlava on an inside page. 

IMG_1070 Mourners form a guard of honour outside Sacred Heart Chapel in Clones, Co Monaghan Diarmuid Pepper / The Journal Diarmuid Pepper / The Journal / The Journal

In a homily at Kiea’s funeral Mass, Fr John Chester said that “friends at the McCann home yesterday stated how popular Kiea” was. 

“She had a great sense of humour, pleasantly mischievous, and innocent. She, like her peers, was rarely off the iPhone keeping in touch,” Father Chester said. 

“She kicked football with her close circle of friends, played pool, enjoyed music and the weekend discos. Kiea was kind, whole-hearted, genuine. She respected others irrespective of race and creed,” he said. 

Fr Chester said family was “hugely important” to Kiea.

“She was a very family-orientated girl who was everybody’s favourite, and our hearts are broken, not only for Kiea and Dlava, but for all of those left behind after this terrible tragedy,” he said. 

Speaking of Dlava, Fr Chester said she “always had a warm smile, and a gentle hello, when she met you on the school corridor”. 

“Her determination shone through in everything she did. Dlava was hard working and resilient,” he said. 

“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,” Father Chester said.

He added that she “expressed such love and devotion to her beloved family”. 

“Dlava showed great loyalty to, and compassion for, her circle of friends and was someone they could rely on as true confident.”

Fr Chester said the Largy College community is “heartbroken”. 

“It is a tragedy that, along with their families, the management, staff and fellow students will not get to see these amazing young women express their full potential of their kind spirits and abundance of gifts.” 

Kiea was later laid to rest in Mount St Oliver’s Cemetery.

Speaking to reporters during a visit to Cork today, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said it was desperately sad to think that two young people lost their lives on the way to such a special occasion as a Debs ball. 

“I am conscious that while we are here today there are two funerals underway – one at a church in Clones and the other at the mosque in Clonskeagh,” Varadkar said. 

“As Taoiseach, on behalf of the nation, I really want to extend my condolences and sympathies to the McCann family and Mohamed family and the entire community in Clones,” he said. 

“Everyone has been impacted by this terrible tragedy – the Debs are one of the special occasions in Irish lives, it is a rite of passage that marks the transition from being a schoolchild to being a young adult,” the Taoiseach added. 

“It is a time filled with opportunity and boundless hope – for two young lives to be cut short in such an untimely way and tragic manner has gripped the nation.“

Varadkar also offered his condolences to the wider community in Clones whilst sending his best wishes to those injured in the crash.

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

Largy College principal Sharon Magennis described Dlava, who had just completed her Junior Cert exam, as “always very happy” and “bubbly”, and Kiea as “pleasant and courteous” and who had hoped to go on to study childcare.

The school community has been overcome with grief and the Clones community is said to be in shock after the tragedy.

In a showing of respect and support, hundreds of locals formed a guard of honour in Clones as the two teenagers’ remains were brought back to their family homes.

People wept and comforted each other as the hearse carrying Kiea’s remains arrived in the town on Tuesday night, pausing for a moment outside Dlava’s home.

Women stood in the doorway of Dlava’s family home and sang a lament as her remains were brought into the house yesterday evening.

The victims’ families are said to be “hugely devastated” and suffering from shock and trauma after attending the scene in the aftermath of the crash.

Three other occupants of the car were also injured after the vehicle veered off the N54 and into a tree, just outside Clones, on Monday at 6.45pm.

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 also suffered non life-threatening injuries.

With reporting by Emer Moreau, Hayley Halpin, Diarmuid Pepper, Steven Fox, Olivia Kelleher and Press Association