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Two of three students killed in horror road crash are laid to rest

By Rebecca Black

Published 27/08/2015

Peter Hughes' coffin is carried into St Patrick's Church in Dromintee, Co Armagh, during his
funeral yesterday
Peter Hughes' coffin is carried into St Patrick's Church in Dromintee, Co Armagh, during his funeral yesterday
Peter Hughes
Conall Havern
Gavin Sloan

Hundreds of mourners turned out to pay their respects to two popular young students who died in a horrific car crash.

Peter Hughes (19), Conall Havern (20) and Gavin Sloan (20) had been travelling together along the A1 dual carriageway on their way to Belfast on Sunday evening when their car was involved in an accident during treacherous driving conditions.

Funerals took place for Peter and Gavin yesterday, while Conall will be buried following a service today.

Mourners flocked to St Patrick's Church in Dromintee, Co Armagh, yesterday morning for the funeral of the youngest of the three friends, Peter.

Members of Dromintee Gaelic Athletic Club (GAC) dressed in their team tops formed a guard of honour along the coffin's path into the church, with crowds packed behind them in a strong show of respect for the young man, a former headboy at the nearby St Paul's High School in Bessbrook whose sudden death has sent shockwaves through the area.

Dromintee GAC chairman Colm McCoy said Peter's passing had left a "great void and sadness for his family, friends and team-mates".

Peter had been studying chemical engineering at Queen's University Belfast and continued to excel in sport, playing for the college's GAA side.

One hour after the start of Peter's funeral, the funeral for Gavin started at noon at St Colman's Church, Massfort, close to Kilkeel, Co Down.

The 20-year-old was a former student at St Louis Grammar School and had excelled in his A-levels before going on to study law at Queen's.

His former school paid tribute to him as a "young man with integrity, he was modest and unassuming, had a great sense of humour and was held in great regard by all". Meanwhile, the funeral of the third friend, Conall Havern (20), will take place today at noon at St Mary's Church on Chapel Street in Newry.

As well as their deaths shocking the local communities where they came from, the tragedy has also had a major impact at Queen's University, where the three young men were students.

They had been on their way to Belfast at the time of the fatal crash to move belongings into a house they were planning to share for their second year of study in the city.

Queen's University flag was flown at half-mast in honour of them on Tuesday, while counselling is being offered to their many friends and classmates. Their names have been published on the door of the Lanyon building in remembrance.

Speaking on behalf of the students, Queen's University Students' Union said it was shocked and saddened by the tragedy and said "the young men will be deeply missed by their friends and fellow students".

Belfast Telegraph

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