Northern Ireland news

Fermanagh communities 'numb' after two young lives lost in Donegal crash

Shiva Devine, from Belleek, Co Fermanagh, died alongside Conall McAleer in Sunday's fatal crash.
Paul Ainsworth

A YOUNG mother-of-one and a man in his twenties have been killed after the car they were travelling in crashed as they made their way home to Fermanagh after a night out in Donegal.

Shiva Devine and Conall McAleer were passengers in a Peugeot car which crashed and hit a wall in Bundoran.

The crash occurred in the town's Eastend area at around 3.25am on Sunday.

Three other occupants - a woman and two men - were rushed to Sligo University Hospital where the two men last night remained in a "serious" condition.

The woman was last night transferred to Beaumont Hosital in Dublin where her condition remained "critical".

A man in his twenties was arrested in connection with the crash after presenting himself at Ballyshannon Garda Station yesterday morning. Gardai last night said he has been released without charge, but a file would be prepared for the director of public prosecutions.

Gardai also said post mortem examinations are due to be carried out on the deceased today.

They have appealed for witnesses to the crash to contact them.

It is understood that driving conditions were difficult at the time of the crash due to heavy rainfall.

Mother-of-two, Shiva Devine, who was in her twenties, lived in the border town of Belleek. A friend, who did not wish to be named, described her as "lovely, inside and out".

She added: "She always had a smile on her face. She was kind and considerate and very popular."

Conall McAleer, who lived on Boa Island, was described by friends as a "gentleman".

The student and former underage GAA player was known to friends affectionately as "Squeek".

On social media heartbroken friends left tributes.

Leah White wrote: "Rest in peace Conall McAleer, you will be missed by so many".

‎Another friend Killian Deery wrote: "Hard to believe your gone big man. You or the memories will never be forgotten."

Chantelle Mitchell wrote: "Such a pleasure to have known such a kind and caring person, you really are one on life’s truest gentlemen! Watch over your family in the weeks and months ahead."

Conall was a former underage football player with Ederney St Joseph’s GAC.

Club chairman Sean Dunne said: "Conall played with us throughout his underage career, and we remember him as a talented fullback.

"He was very popular and gregarious, and the whole club is in shock today at this awful news. Such a young life gone so quickly, and our hearts go out to his family and that of the young lady who has also died."

Fermanagh SDLP councillor John Coyle said both Belleek and the community on Boa Island and surrounding areas were "numb" at the loss of two young lives.

"We woke up to news of this tragic incident, and we barely know what to say in the face of such overwhelming tragedy," he said.

"People are numb at the loss and our hearts go out to both families of the deceased, while we also pray for the speedy recovery of those who remain in hospital."

DUP leader and Fermanagh MLA Arlene Foster also tweeted her condolences: "This is very tragic news, which will shock the community. Remembering their families at this difficult time. Praying that others involved make a full recovery."

Ulster Unionist MLA Rosemary Barton said: "The relatives and friends of these young people will be in mourning and shock today, I cannot comprehend the emotions they will be going through, I send my heartfelt condolences to the family circles of these victims".

Bundoran Fine Gael councillor Barry O’Neill said the seaside resort was also in "shock" at the tragedy.

"It appears they were returning from a fun night out and then this happens. The town is in shock at the news today and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims’ families."

Sinn Féin MP Michelle Gildernew said she was shocked to hear of the accident.

“I want to commend the emergency services for their efforts in the aftermath of this horrible incident," she said.

“I also wish to extend my deepest and heartfelt sympathies to the family and friends of the two young people who died as a result of this tragic accident, especially the young child who has been left without a mother. My thoughts are also with those who are injured and remain in a critical condition in hospital.

“The area of the road where this happened is notorious, especially in difficult driving conditions like this weekend. It is a very dangerous corner and as a result two families will never be the same again. 

“Really the time has come to sort this road and try and ensure that there are no more accidents or fatalities on it.”

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