THE sole survivor of Ireland's worst car crash has been told that his seven friends are dead.
Shaun Kelly (22), who was driving on the night of the Donegal smash, continues to make good progress, according to doctors.
As a result, his family decided to break the devastating news that everybody else in the car had died, as did pensioner Hughie Friel in the other car.
The Inishowen Peninsula came to standstill for almost a week as it buried seven of Shaun's pals, but he was totally unaware of the tragedy.
He has now been woken from a medically induced coma.
The Herald understands that he has been moved from Letterkenny General Hospital to a Dublin hospital for specialised treatment.
His family have been greatly heartened by the response of the other families involved, but sources have said it will be difficult for Shaun to deal with the traumatic news.
More details emerged today about the extent of his injuries, which are said to include a broken collar bone, punctured lung and several other broken bones.
"He knows about the other lads now. He's devastated, but he has to try and recover," said a source. "It's difficult to tell what he is thinking now or how well he was able to take the news in. It probably won't hit him until much later."
Gardai in Donegal are continuing to probe the exact cause of the accident and will want to speak to Shaun when he recovers further.
Eight young men were travelling in a VW Passat from Buncrana towards Clonmany on July 11 after watching the World Cup final. Their car clipped a Renault Megane before ploughing into Mr Friel's Toyota Corolla.
The families of the dead men have said that they do not blame Shaun for the tragedy and have asked the community to be sympathetic.
An uncle of James McEleney, one of the victims, said today that Shaun would always be welcome at the McEleney home.
Philly Ivors said: "We wish Shaun a speedy recovery and we want everyone to know that we are thinking of him. Our door will always be open to Shaun."
The family of Hugh Friel (65) have also said they do not hold any malice towards the young men. At the time of the funeral, his cousin John said: "It wasn't intentional that they set out with this to happen."