Tuesday 20 February 2018

Family left numb by death of woman who fell from van

Cliodhna Thornton fell from a moving van and died near the small Galway village of Furbogh
Cliodhna Thornton fell from a moving van and died near the small Galway village of Furbogh

Greg Harkin

The family of a 22-year-old woman who died after falling out of a van have been left "numb and devastated", a parish priest has said.

Cliodhna Thornton died and a friend was injured in the incident in Co Galway in the early hours of Sunday.

They were found at the roadside on the Barna/Moycullen road junction about 2.20am.

They were rushed to University Hospital Galway where hairdresser Cliodhna was pronounced dead. Her female friend remains in a stable condition in hospital.

Gardaí believe Cliodhna was one of five people in the rear of the van, which was later recovered.

It's understood detectives have now identified the driver and the other four passengers in the vehicle.

Cliodhna was from the townland of Coismeigmór close to the Gaeltacht village of Furbogh and from a highly respected local family committed to their local community.

Fr Michael Brennan, the parish priest, said the family were struggling to come to terms with the tragedy.

"They are in shock, they are numb and devastated," he said. "The next few days are going to be very difficult indeed and the community will come together to support them.

"It is devastating for the family and for everyone in the parish."

Cliodhna will be laid to rest following her funeral on Thursday. She will lie in repose at the Church of Mary Immaculate Queen in Barna tomorrow evening from 4pm to 7pm and her funeral mass will take place at 12pm on Thursday followed by burial at Reilig Realt na Mara in Furbogh.

The young woman was well known in the area, and described by friends as "fun-loving" and "friendly".

She had gone to the local primary school Scoil na bhForbacha, where she excelled as a student and at gaelic football.

Her brothers, Cian and Cormac, played for the local hurling team in the Bearna-Furbogh parish.

Club Iománaíochta Bearna na Forbacha will provide stewards for the wake ahead of the funeral.

A club statement said: "The thoughts and prayers of all in the club are with the Thornton family.

"We share in their sense of loss."

Irish Independent

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