Search icon


02nd Sep 2023

Clonmel crash victim remembered as being ‘happy, outgoing, wonderful’ person

Stephen Porzio


The funeral for Zoey Coffey, 18, took place on Saturday morning.

Zoey Coffey, one of four young people who died in a road crash in Clonmel in Tipperary last week, has been remembered as being a “very funny, happy, outgoing, wonderful” person at her funeral.

The 18-year-old passed away along with Nicole Murphy (18), Grace McSweeney (28) and Grace’s brother Luke (24) when the car they were travelling in crashed into a wall. At the time of the collision, Grace, Nicole and Zoey were being driven to a Leaving Cert results celebration party.

The funeral mass for Zoey took place at 11.30am in Saints Peter & Paul’s Church in Clonmel, with Father Michael Toomey – a parish priest and friend to the 18-year-old’s family – describing her as a “fun, bubbly and central person” in the lives of those she knew.

Funeral mass

He also recounted how Zoey loved dancing and that it was through attending majorettes classes that she became best friends with Grace.

Fr. Toomey also said that the 18-year-old had a “logistical mind” and that among her friends she was known as the “mammy of the group”.

As well as this, the parish priest stated that, ever since she was a young girl, Zoey dreamed of becoming a teacher and that, upon receiving her Leaving Cert results last week, she had hoped to go to Mary Immaculate College.

She had told her sister, Clara: “I’ll probably have to move in with you – but I’ll do all the cooking. I just don’t like your stir fries five days a week.”


The four victims of the Tipperary crash – Nicole Murphy, Luke McSweeney, Grace McSweeney and Zoey Coffey

Fr. Toomey also recounted: “She used to tell everyone she didn’t believe in boyfriends, but she had in mind for her future to marry a big wealthy farmer, have six gorgeous children and to have a big white Range Rover car.”

The priest concluded his homily by stating:

“On the very back of your booklets today, you will see the class photo which includes Zoe and Grace. It was their graduation ceremony and the graduation jumpers of the class of 2023 were organised by Zoey.

“The quote at the end of the class picture, composed by Zoey’s class who won the election for the graduation, says: ‘I wish there was a way to know you are in the good old days before you actually left them.’ Zoey then drove the graduation and what a wonderful job she did.

“If ever there were prophetic words spoken by someone. These are days when in the midst of mourning we have appreciated what we have, namely: our family our friends and our community. Zoey and her class have left us these words in the hope that as we all move together through this grief, as difficult and as long as that will be, perhaps let us remind ourselves that with every night comes a dawn, every darkness ends in light, and that every memory brings a smile.

“As a people, and a family, in mourning, may our tomorrows’ dawn begin with a rose colour, may we slowly move out of this darkness, because in our Eucharistic Prayer we will use the line: ‘Life is changed – not ended’, and may the joy and hope of the Resurrection be our comfort in our loss of Zoey.

“May Zoey rest in peace. Amen.”

A Communion reflection and an expression of gratitude to Zoey was also read by her principal at Presentation Secondary School Michael O’Loughlin.

The reflection read:

“Zoey, we will treasure you always.

“We will remember all the words you ever said to us, Some funny, some kind, some wise.

“We will remember all the things you did for us, all the things we now recall through tear-filled eyes.

“We will remember your cheeky smiles, your vibrant ways, and how you got the job done in your unique and gentle determined ways.

“We will remember every moment we shared; our love for you will fall in tears. Your name forever etched on our heart.

“It is really hard to say the words that ‘you are gone from us now.’ But one thing that will never be taken away:

“Zoey, our memories of you, will reside as treasures inside our heart always.”

Read more:

LISTEN: You Must Be Jokin’ with Aideen McQueen – Faith healers, Coolock craic and Gigging as Gaeilge