The parents of the victims of the worst road crash in Irish history have said that they do not blame the driver of the fatal crash that took 8 lives in County Donegal.
Eamonn and Claire Sweeney told mourners at their son Ciaran’s funeral they would welcome the family of critically-ill Sean Kelly into their home.
This was despite the fact that the driver had been told to slow down by another motorist before the fatal crash occurred.
Sean Kelly is now the sole survivor of the worst car crash in the history of the state when two cars — the Passat and a Toyota Corolla driver by pensioner Hugh Friel — collided on a stretch of road between Buncrana and Clonmany last Sunday night. The 22-year-old is in intensive care at Letterkenny Hospital.
Damien McLaughlin, 21, Paul Doherty, 19, and Eamonn McDaid, 22, were all buried yesterday. James McEleney, 23, the last of the victims to be buried, was buried today.
At his funeral James was described as a man having a ‘heart of gold’, who loved to joke around and make people smile. The Inishowen village of Clonmany came to a standstill for the eighth and last funeral service of Sunday’s horrific crash that had a devastating effect on the Donegal community.
“To his family he was a proud loving son, brother, uncle, nephew, cousin and a boyfriend with a heart of gold,” said the eulogizer, “James was a true homebird. Despite trying to fly the nest to America, he was back within two weeks to his mother,” he said.
Speaking after their son’s funeral, Claire and Eamonn McSweeny told reporters that: “Claire, Rory, Owen, Orla and myself want it to be made perfectly clear that we don’t hold (responsible) or blame Sean or anyone else in any way for the loss of our beautiful son and brother.
His father added: “Ciaran gave us almost 20 years of love and happiness. Our memories of Ciaran are all good years. We could not have been any more proud of our son.” He said they were glad he had found love with his partner, Sean Kelly’s sister Catherine Ann Kelly, and could not have met a nicer girl.
The Taoiseach interrupted his three day economic visit to New York earlier this week to express his sincere condolences to the families involved and expressed his horror at the carnage. He said while road deaths had been cut by half over the past decade, “that is of no consolation to the loved ones of those who have died this weekend. My thoughts and prayers are with the families who are having to cope with such devastating news".