Drone over Clonmel crash site ‘disrespectful’ to families and emergency workers

A senior Garda has criticised the use of a drone over the fatal crash site as “disrespectful” to both the grieving families and emergency personnel.

Three Leaving Cert students, Zoey Coffey, 18, Nicole Murphy, 18 and Grace McSweeney, 18, as well as Grace’s 24-year-old brother Luke, died in Clonmel in Co Tipperary.

Gardai said that images of the immediate aftermath of the collision were being shared on social media and messaging apps, and urged people not to do so out of respect for the young people and their families.

Father Michael Toomey said there was anger at the use of a drone at the scene and reiterated Gardai’s message for people not to use or share images on social media.

“Also on social media, be very respectful in commenting… Families are grieving the loss of a loved one, and that does not help in any way,” he said.

Speaking to the media on Saturday, Superintendent Kieran Ruane urged people not to share any drone footage.

“We are aware there was a drone active while the first responders were at the scene and it is very difficult for the members to know that there’s a drone overhead,” he told reporters in Clonmel.

“I think it’s disrespectful to the families of the deceased, as well as to the first responders.

“What I would ask is footage taken by a drone, we would ask that that would be brought to the investigation team so we can assess it and I would ask our communities and nationally for people not to share such footage.

“It’s disrespectful and I don’t think it’s the way we want to remember these four young people.”

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