On a tragic day, a minibus carrying a family collided with a lorry on the A5 Tullyvar Road, leading to the death of several individuals. The family was reportedly returning from England after attending their aunt’s funeral, according to a parish priest, Fr Declan Boland, from Strabane, County Tyrone. The incident has left the local community in a state of shock and disbelief.
Fr Boland mentioned that the community was struggling to come to terms with the tragedy. He also shared that the horror of bringing the bodies home and holding funerals would be challenging for everyone. Fr Boland visited the home of one of the victims, Ms. Duffy, where people had gathered to pay tribute. He observed that people were silently embracing each other in solidarity, as words were insufficient to express the grief.
The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) needed to use cutting equipment to rescue those trapped in the minibus after the serious crash. Four individuals were seriously injured and required hospitalization. Fr Boland stated that two of them were in post-operative care at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast and were expected to pull through.
The tragedy has touched the entire community, and they will be holding a rosary at the Holy Grotto in Strabane on Friday at 7 pm BST to pray for those affected by the accident. Fr Boland said that this was not the first time they had to hold such a service, as they had already experienced the Creeslough tragedy before. A special Mass will also be held in Aughnacloy on Friday evening.