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Jessica McLoughlin Facebook

Tributes paid to woman killed after being hit by train in Sligo as gardaí appeal for witnesses

The victim has been named locally as Jessica McLoughlin. A second woman in her 20s was hospitalised with serious injuries.

LAST UPDATE | 15 Jun 2023

TRIBUTES HAVE BEEN paid after a woman in her 40s died after being hit by a train in Co Sligo yesterday. 

She has been named locally as Jessica McLoughlin. 

Her niece, Rebecca McLoughlin, was hospitalised with serious injuries, which are not thought to be life threatening.

She was taken to Sligo University Hospital for treatment. 

A technical examination of the scene has since been completed by Forensic Collision Investigators and gardaí are appealing for anyone who may have information to make contact with them.

It’s understood that the women attempted to jump clear of the train but that they were hit.

The incident involved the 3.05pm service from Sligo to Dublin and occurred at around 4pm on the train line at Knocks Park, Ballisadare, Co. Sligo. 

Around 100 people were on board the train when the incident happened, officials said.

The train line has reopened this morning and Irish Rail said a full schedule of services will operate today on the Sligo to Dublin Connolly route. 

Gardaí are keen to speak to passengers with information who were travelling on the Dublin to Sligo train service, that arrived in Sligo at 2pm yesterday, and also to passengers on the Dublin to Sligo service that departed from Sligo at 1pm.


Speaking to RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Irish Rail spokesperson Jane Cregan said it was a “very distressing incident for everyone involved”. 

The driver and other Irish Rail employees on board the train are now receiving support from the company’s employee assistance programme which provides counselling services. 

Irish Rail has launched an internal review into the incident. 

Cregan said she and Irish Rail offer their sympathies to Jessica McLoughlin’s family. 

She said they wish the “speedy recovery of the other woman that was involved in the incident”. 

“Investigations started very soon after this happened and they are ongoing.” 

article-image-13 Emergency services at the scene in Sligo yesterday James Connolly James Connolly

Speaking to The Journal, Sligo-Drumcliff Councillor Thomas Walsh said: “My thoughts and the thoughts of the community are with the family and also the local community. 

“I’d like to pay tribute to the local responders who I understand arrived rapidly to the scene.”

Walsh said everyone in the Sligo area “are in a lot of shock”. 

“It’s very, very tragic,” he said. 

Sligo-Drumcliff Councillor Marie Casserly told The Journal that her “thoughts and prayers are with her family and wide circle of friends”. 

“It’s such a tragedy for the entire community and county. Our thoughts are also with the young lady who was injured,” Casserly said. 

“I would also like to pay tribute to the emergency services who were there and also thinking about the train driver at this sad time.”  

In a statement yesterday evening, Sligo-Leitrim TD Martin Kenny extended his sympathies and condolences to the people affected by the incident. 

“I want to extend my sympathies to the family, friends and community of the lady who has tragically lost her life this evening in Sligo,” said Kenny.
“I am sure the people of the northwest will join me in extending our thoughts to the young lady who was also seriously injured in this collision, as she is treated for serious injuries this evening.”

He commended the “quick action of emergency services in attending the scene so promptly”. 

He added: “This incident will lead to a difficult time ahead for the family and friends of those involved. As a community, we must come together and support them in any way possible.”

Independent TD for the area Marc MacSharry said he has been left shocked by “this horrific and tragic accident”.

He said his thoughts and prayers are with the family of the women, as well as Irish Rail staff and the passengers.

With reporting by Eimer McAuley, Diarmuid Pepper and Press Association