Tragic road deaths cause widespread shock
A horrific crash at the weekend, which claimed the lives of two young people from Co Fermanagh, has caused a profound sense of shock and sadness.
Twenty-year-old Shiva Devine, a mother of one from Belleek, and Conall McAleer from Kesh, were killed when the Peugeot car they were travelling in crashed in Bundoran, Co Donegal in the early hours of of Sunday.
Three friends were injured in the collision, including a Ballinamallard woman who is understood to be in a critical condition in Beaumont Hospital, Dublin.
Later on Sunday morning, a man in his twenties, believed to be the driver, presented himself to gardaí and was later freed without charge. According to police, a file will be prepared for the director of public prosecutions.
It is frightening to think that a night out by a group of friends could end in such carnage.
Their families have received the most distressing news imaginable and their lives will be forever changed by the loss of these two much loved young people.
Fatal crashes such as this underline the fragility of human life, and remind us of the awful toll of death that takes place on our roads on a regular basis.
Sadly, the grief and pain being experienced in the homes of Shiva Devine and Conall McAleer will be all too familiar to hundreds of other families who have suffered dreadful and sudden loss as the result of a road traffic collision.
The weekend also witnessed a third fatality on the roads.
Father of two Eamon McCafferty (58) died after being hit by a car on the Foreglen Road near Claudy in the early hours of Saturday.
Police are appealing for anyone who saw the 58-year-old walking along the road or a blue Hyundai involved in the collision to come forward.
The prayers and sympathies of the entire community will be with those directly affected by these tragic deaths, who will need every support in the days ahead.