Girls killed in car crash on way to prom ‘were soul friends’ funeral told as mourners say goodbye

Kiea McCann and Dlava Mohamed have funerals in Ireland

William Mata
Thursday 03 August 2023 18:49 BST
Huge crowds turn out for the funeral procession of Kiea McCann as it makes its way to the Sacred Heart Chapel in Clones, Co. Monaghan for her funeral
Huge crowds turn out for the funeral procession of Kiea McCann as it makes its way to the Sacred Heart Chapel in Clones, Co. Monaghan for her funeral (PA)

Final respects have been paid at the funerals for two teenage best friends who died in a car crash on the way to their school’s prom in Ireland.

Kiea McCann, 17, and Dlava Mohamed, 16, were killed outside the town of Clones in County Monaghan, when their vehicle left the N54 and crashed into a tree.

The pair had been travelling with three others who were injured in the crash. It came hours after they were pictured in their prom dresses that they were set to wear that night for the debs ball.

Kiea’s coffin is carried into the Sacred Heart Chapel (PA)
Kiea McCann and Dlva Mohamed were described as ‘soul friends’ (Facebook)

A funeral service for Dlava was held at the Clonskeagh Mosque and Islamic Culture Centre in Dublin on Thursday and she will be laid to rest in Newcastle Muslim Cemetery.

Father John Chester said the deaths have "shocked and saddened the nation".

There was a pause for silence at Sacred Heart Chapel in Clones, Co Monaghan ahead of the funeral for Kiea for those who were injured in the same crash.

Representatives for Irish President Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar attended the funeral, as well as the Church of Ireland Bishop of Clogher Ian Ellis.

Father Chester added that the hands of both girls were touching at the scene.

Mourners outside the family home of Dlava ahead of her service in Dublin (PA)
Pallbearers carry Dlava’s coffin into the Islamic Cultural Centre in Dublin (PA)

"The hands of the two girls touching as though they knew they were off to heaven together," he said. "No father should have to witness such a terrible scene."

Half an hour after Dlava’s service, a funeral mass was held for Kiea McCann at the Sacred Heart Chapel in Clones. She will be laid to rest in Mount St Oliver’s Cemetery.

Both girls’ obituaries detailed how they came from large families who were heartbroken following the crash.

Sheikh Hussein Halawa said: “I would like to my offer sincere condolences to the father, mother and all family members.”

The prayer service for Dvala heard the fatal crash in which she died “shook the entire Muslim community and the entire people of Ireland”.

Tributes were paid to both girls at separate services (PA)
Their deaths had ‘saddened the nation’ i (PA)

Meanwhile, scores of motorbikes revved at the Sacred Heart Chapel in Clones ahead of the arrival of the hearse carrying the remains of Kiea, a motor racing fan. Her family and loved ones walked behind the hearse topped with floral tributes.

Many of the mourners wore light blue T-shirts bearing a photograph of the teenager wearing her red formal dress.

People wear T-shirts with a message and an image of Kiea McCann outside the Sacred Heart Chapel in Clones, Co. Monaghan for her funeral (PA)
A prayer service for Dlava Mohamed at the Islamic Cultural Centre in Dublin (PA)

Students from Largy College lined the steps as her coffin was brought into the church.

Father Frankie McCann told the Irish Independent how celebrations had unfolded at the family home hours before the tragedy.

“There was great excitement here in the house before they went out,” he said. “We had food and champagne and balloons, and it was going to be a great night.”

Kiea had been pictured in a red dress in front of a celebratory balloons display while Dlava was seen softly smiling in a blue gown before heading out.

Motorcycle riders and local motorcycle club members outside the Sacred Heart Chapel (PA)
The coffin of Kiea McCann is carried into the Sacred Heart Chapel in Clones (PA)

The images were shared by family members left shocked by the double tragedy.

“I love you so so much Kiea,” heartbroken sister Michaela wrote next to several pictures from the evening.

Irish police are still investigating the crash and closed the road for several hours while forensic teams carried out searches. The force thanked those who stopped by the scene to try and help.

At the time of writing, another young woman, 18, is in a critical but stable condition at Cavan General Hospital, after the crash.

A 60-year-old man remains in a critical condition in Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital and an 18-year-old man suffered non life-threatening injuries.

Visiting Largy College on Tuesday, Social Protection Minister and local TD Heather Humphreys said that there was “a cloud over the town of Clones”.

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

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