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‘The hands of the two girls touching as though off to heaven together’ – funeral masses of Kiea McCann (17) and Dlava Mohamed (16) begin

Parish Priest Father John Chester told mourners that he sat with Kiea’s father Franky yesterday and listened to his account of trying to save both teenage girls when he arrived at the scene of the accident.

“No father should have to witness such a terrible scene,” Fr Chester said.

The best friends were killed when the car they were travelling in crashed near Clones as they made their ways to a Debs Ball on Monday night.

A funeral booklet for Kiea McCann used a photograph of the friends tightly embracing along with a poem which described the joy of finding “one true best friends”.

Funeral booklet shows best friends embracing

The inseparable pair will be remembered and buried at the same time in Clones in Dublin. An Islamic funeral is being held for Dlava at Clonskeagh Mosque in Co Dublin.

Students from Largy College and principal Sharon Magennis are among mourners who have gathered at the Sacred Heart Chapel in Clones for Kiea’s funeral.

A candle was lit on the altar of the church in Clones in memory of Dlava.

“Friends at the McCann home yesterday stated how popular Kiea was among her friends. She had a great sense of humour, pleasantly mischievous and innocent. She, like her peers, was rarely off the iPhone keeping in touch. She kicked football with her close circle of friends, played pool, enjoyed music and the weekend discos. Kiea was kind, whole-hearted, genuine. She respected others irrespective of race and creed,” Fr Chester said.

“The college community is heartbroken. It is a tragedy that, along with their families, the management, staff and fellow students will not get to see these amazing young women express the full potential of their kind spirits and abundance of gifts,” Fr Chester said.

The collision has left two people – a man in his 60s who was driving the vehicle along with a teenage sister of Dlava – in a serious condition in hospital. Anthony McGinn is being treated in Belfast while Auin Mohamed is in a Dublin hospital. One other 18-year-old man suffered non life-threatening injuries in the collision.

A funeral mass for Kiea McCann, 17, will be held at the Sacred Heart Chapel in Clones at 2pm today, and she will be laid to rest in Mount St Oliver’s Cemetery afterwards.

While a funeral service will be held for her best friend Dlava Mohamed, 16, at the Clonskeagh Mosque and Culture Centre in Dublin at 1.30pm on today, and she will be laid to rest in Newcastle Muslim Cemetery afterwards at 3pm.

Community gathers as the coffin of Dlava Mohamed arrives at the family home in Clones, Co. Monaghan

The body of Dlava Mohamed arrived at Clonskeagh mosque shortly after 10am this morning where it will undergo a private funeral ceremony where her body will be washed as is custom in Islamic funerals. Dlava’s family will then join her for a private period of mourning and prayer before the funeral begins later this afternoon.

A coach carrying family and friends of Dlava left Clones’ town square The Diamond at 6.45am on Thursday and transport them to Dublin for the ceremony.

The friends were killed when the vehicle they were travelling in left the road and crashed while they were making their way to a Debs Ball in Monaghan town.

Three other occupants of the car were also injured after the vehicle veered off the N54 and into a tree, just outside Clones, on Monday at 6.45pm.

The principal of the two teenagers’ secondary school said the two girls had been “best friends” since Dlava’s family arrived in Clones as part of a resettlement programme for Syrians.

Largy College principal Sharon Magennis described Dlava, who had just completed her Junior Cert exam, as “always very happy” and “bubbly”, and Kiea as “pleasant and courteous” and who had hoped to go on to study childcare.

Mourners outside the family home of Dlava Mohamed in Clones, Co. Monaghan. Photo: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

The school community has been overcome with grief and the Clones community is said to be in shock after the tragedy.

In a showing of respect and support, hundreds of locals formed a guard of honour in Clones as the two teenagers’ remains were brought back to their family homes.

People wept and comforted each other as the hearse carrying Kiea’s remains arrived in the town on Tuesday night, pausing for a moment outside Dlava’s home.

Women stood in the doorway of Dlava’s family home and sang a lament as her remains were brought into the house on Wednesday evening.

The victims’ families are said to be “hugely devastated” and suffering from shock and trauma after attending the scene in the aftermath of the crash.

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