We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.


Monaghan debs tragedy: Two teenagers killed in crash are named locally

Largy College’s principal said the school is in deep shock following the ‘tragic loss of two cherished members of our school community’.

LAST UPDATE | 1 Aug 2023

THE TWO TEENAGE girls who died after a fatal road crash in Co Monaghan yesterday evening have been named locally.

The crash occurred yesterday at 6.45pm on the N54 at Legnakelly when four teenagers were being driven to a Debs ball.

Kiea Mc Cann, aged 17, and Dlava Mohamed, aged 16, were fatally injured in the crash. Three other people were in the vehicle at the time and were hospitalised with their injuries.

In an update this evening, gardaí said that post-mortems had been completed on both victims’ bodies but the results would not be released for operations reasons.

The driver of the vehicle, a 60-year-old man, remains in a critical condition in the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.

A female teenager (18) is in a critical but stable condition in Cavan General Hospital and a male teenager (18) is in the same hospital and continues to receive treatment for non-life threatening injuries.

Gardaí said the vehicle has now been removed from the scene and that they and continuing to investigate all the circumstances of the collision.

The N54 between Clones and Smithborough is due to be reopened following a forensic examination of the scene and a senior investigating officer has been appointed.

In a statement to the media this evening, Superintendent Patrick O’Connell said the collision took place “when a single vehicle, which was carrying five people, left the roadway and collided with a tree”.

“This was a particularly traumatic incident for everyone involved and I wish to acknowledge and thank all of the first responders who worked closely together – particularly members of An Garda Siochana, members of the ambulance and fire service, the hospital staff, and indeed members of the public who stopped to render assistance,” he said.

“This tragedy continues to be extremely traumatic for our local community, particularly in the Clones and Monaghan area.

“We will continue to work closely with the teaching and management staff at Largy College to support the students and staff affected by this terrible tragedy.”

Superintendent Patrick O’Connell added that he and the families of the victims are “eternally grateful” to members of the public who stopped to give assistance at the scene of the crash.

“As you can imagine, there was a lot of people, a lot of vehicles travelling. It would have been after work time, after 6pm, so there was a lot of people who stopped and gave assistance and we are eternally grateful to that as are the families.

“Again, I would like to appeal to any witnesses who haven’t made their details known to An Garda Siochana to do so and we will speak to them in confidence.”

 “Deep shock”

In a statement today, Largy College – where the girls were students – said its community is in “deep shock” following the incident.

“It is with profound sadness and grief that we have learned about the devastating accident that resulted in the untimely and tragic loss of two cherished members of our school community,” principal Sharon Magennis said.

“We extend our deepest sympathies to the families and friends who have tragically lost loved ones. The other individuals involved in the accident also remain in our thoughts and prayers at this time,” Magennis said.

The Largy College principal added that the school’s “priority now is the wellbeing and welfare of the students, parents and staff at this difficult time” and said that a critical incident team has met to coordinate a response and enact the critical incident plan.

Visiting Largy College today, Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys said it was “a very sad day for Clones”.

“There’s a cloud over the town now and people just feel so upset and just numb by the tragedy that occurred last night.”

Humphreys, who is from Co Monaghan, added: “It’s not easy because up in The Diamond (town square in Clones), the children last night all got ready, the girls especially were in their dresses and they were all ready for a great night out and it all, unfortunately, ended in tragedy.”

She said she had met some of the staff of the school.

“It is every parent’s worst nightmare because nobody expects to get that phone call.

“One of the parents was on the football field last night and she got the call to go.

“It’s just the shock and to think that this could happen to any child. And I know that many parents across the country are thinking all our children going to Debs, they start off a night full of fun and joy and then it ends up in tragedy.

“My heart goes out to them and they are in all our thoughts and prayers.”

Sinn Féin TD for Cavan-Monaghan, Matt Carthy, has praised the Clones community for “rallying in support of their young who lost two friends”.

“Kiea and Dlava have left a void in their families hearts that will never be filled, deepest sympathies to them & best wishes to those still in hospital,” he tweeted.

Elsewhere, Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smyth told Newstalk’s Pat Kenny that the incident happened on a busy road that always has a heavy volume of traffic.

Smyth added that he understands the National Educational Psychological Service will be providing support.

Gardaí in Monaghan are appealing to anyone who may have witnessed this collision to contact them.

Any road users who may have camera footage (including dash-cam) and were travelling on the N54 between Clones and Smithborough yesterday evening between 6.15pm and 7pm are asked to make this footage available to gardaí.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Monaghan Garda Station on 047 77200, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any garda station.

With reporting from Cormac Fitzgerald and Press Association