Donegal is a beautiful county. It has a rugged, wild, beautiful, sometimes bleak landscape, on the edge of Europe, bounded by the Atlantic Ocean. The people there are friendly, fun, unique.They stick together. There is nowhere in the world quite like Donegal.
The worst road accident in Irish history happened on Sunday night in beautiful Donegal. Eight people were killed in a two-car collision. Seven of them were aged between 19 and 23.
In one car was a 66-year-old pensioner, Hugh Friel, who was returning home from his weekly bingo session.
The young men who were killled were all travelling together in the other car, having watched the World Cup final together. They were Paul Doherty (19), Ciaran Sweeney (19), Mark Mc Laughlin (21), PJ Mc Laughlin (21), Damien Mc Laughlin (21), Eamonn Mc Daid (22) and James Mc Eleney (23).
The scene in this picture (courtesy of Irish Times) will be repeated 8 times in total this week, as families lay their loved ones to rest, and mourn those lives cut short.
While many questions remain to be answered as to how this crash took place, not least why 8 people were in a car with only 5 seat belts, right now, our thoughts are with the 8 families whose lives have been turned upside down in one instant.