Thursday 23 March 2017

Fun times replaced by tears in a town where best friends all felt safe

Eimear Ni Bhraonain

THE bundle of clothes which had been wrapped around the girls to keep them warm were scattered across Main Street.

Beside them were a gold ring, pearls, a small black shoe and a silver fast-food tin.

It was the worst hangover imaginable for the people who woke up in Gorey, Co Wexford, on Sunday morning.

Just hours earlier, on the same pavements, Kelly Gregan (20), her best pal Gillian Fitzgerald (20) and their girlfriends had strutted into Oscar's nightclub.

The college girls, who had their whole lives to look forward to, had returned home for the October bank holiday weekend.

They looked good enough to be in a girl band. The popular young women were having a "girly reunion" in Gorey -- a place where they felt safe to let their hair down and enjoy fun times.

They were just yards from Gorey garda station, which is also located on Main Street, when the girls left the nightclub.

Some had stopped in the takeaway and they were planning on making their way home in taxis or had lifts waiting nearby.

But Kelly Gregan never made it home on Sunday morning.

Instead, the loving daughter and sister was rushed to Wexford General Hospital. Her mother Pauline, who already lost her husband Richard to illness in 2008, will have to identify her little girl's body.

It is the worst imaginable thing to happen to any mother.

Yesterday, the shock was only setting in.

Gorey Councillor Malcolm Byrne said everyone's sympathies were with the family and friends of the young woman.

Disbelief

"Kelly and her friends were in Oscar's nightclub, the main nightclub was finished up and they were 100 metres from the garda station at the top of the town. People are genuinely stunned that something like this happened.

"People had seen the car. It seems that it wasn't being pursued by gardai," he added.

There have been tragedies on Gorey's Main Street before but people will not forget what happened last weekend.

Kelly was from a respected family who live in Tara Hill in Inch, in north Wexford.

Locals are praying that the man responsible for her death will hand himself over to gardai and admit to the pain he has caused.

Kelly's little sisters Kirstie (18) and Lauren (12) idolised the ground that she walked on. A family photo shows the young woman in a floor-length gown sitting at home with her mother and sisters before she went to her debs' ball with friends from Gorey Community School.

They look like any other happy family. But they had already suffered enough with Kelly's father's death.

Irish Independent

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