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Community stunned by sled tragedy

A GROUP of teens involved in an horrific sledding tragedy in which a 15-year old girl was killed had planned to leave the snow-covered slopes after a few final descents.

Horrified parents and young children watched helplessly as the home-made sled carrying Aoife Downey (15) and three friends sped out of control and ploughed head-on into a large tree in Frankfield, Cork at 2.30pm on Saturday.

A second 15-year-old girl and a 16-year-old boy were being treated in Cork University Hospital (CUH) for multiple injuries sustained in the tragic accident.

The boy's brother had managed to roll off the speeding sled seconds before the impact.

The injured girl -- who is Aoife's best friend and team-mate with Douglas Camogie Club -- suffered a fractured pelvis when she was catapulted off the home-made sled.

The 16-year-old boy is being treated for a fractured leg.

Parishioners at Frankfield Church yesterday prayed for Aoife and her family as well as the recovery of her two injured friends.

Aoife was a student at Christ the King Secondary School and was a hugely talented camogie player, winning awards at both club and school level.

The chairman of Douglas Camogie Club, Joe Long, said everyone was devastated.

Aoife was the eldest daughter of Sean and Siobhan Downey and has two younger sisters, Aideen and Caoimhe.