Tragic crash takes toll on locals

Amy at Patrick’s Bar playa del Inglés

The Irish and English-speaking community on the south of Gran Canaria have been left in shock and mourning the tragic news of a well known and loved local bar worker, 25 year old Amy Loughrey, having suffered a fatal collision in county Donegal on Thursday night, near her hometown in Ireland.

The devastating two-car collision happened just before 11pm on Thursday night in Glebe, Fahan, as Amy was returning home from a restaurant where she had been working.

Originally from Derry, Amy was known to many here on Gran Canaria as a friendly, bright and welcoming member of the team in Patrick’s Bar in Playa del Inglés where she had worked for several years before going back to Ireland with the aim of finishing her education and becoming a teacher. Amy returned to Patrick’s regularly where she was still seen as part of their team and still very much a member of the community.

Amy loved travel and spent every spare penny she had on seeing as much of the world as she could, yet returned often to her ‘Gran Canaria family’ and second home here in the sunshine.

Amy had been coming home from work at the well-known Red Door restaurant in Fahan, close to where the accident happened.

The Gardai (Irish police) are still trying to figure out what caused the fatal crash, which left the driver of the other car with only minor injuries.

To the dismay of many, images of the twisted wreckage at the scene were included with local news reports leading to an outcry from those who knew Amy, who expressed disgust at the lack of sensitivity shown for Amy’s family. 

Amy’s Fiat Stilo is thought to have been struck head-on by a Ford Focus in a horrific incident still being investigated by local police who have been carrying out a full examination at the scene.

The 24-year-old man who was driving the other car was taken to Letterkenny University Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Gardai say the drivers were travelling in opposite directions. There were no passengers in the vehicles. 

News first broke here when Patrick’s Bar, at the Águila Roja shopping centre in Playa del Inglés  posted to their Facebook page:

“With a heavy heart I’d just like to say that all OV us at Patricks bar are devastated at the news of a beloved member of our team passing away today. You were and always will be one in a million Amy Amy Loughrey. Thank you for all the years you worked for us and all the joy and memories you brought to our lives …… RIP Sweet girl and ️love to all your family at this sad, sad time ?❤️?”

A message on the Facebook page of the restaurant in Fahan where she had been working most recently confirmed: 

“Due to a tragic road accident involving one of our staff members, The Red Door will be closed today and this evening.
“We are in the process of contacting all those with bookings and thank you in advance for your understanding. Our thoughts are with the family of our dear colleague and friend.”

A local priest, Fr Michael Canny, PP, said he had been to Ms Loughrey’s house and her family were already taking down the Christmas decorations after the shocking news.

“It’s shocking news to get at any time but so close to Christmas it is even more difficult to take.

“I know Amy’s mother well and we are just so sorry for her and all the family.

“They are taking down the Christmas decorations and tree and it really will mean nothing to them,” he told reporters.

Police leading the investigation into the crash have appealed for witnesses to come forward.
Superintendent Eugene McGovern, of Buncrana Garda station, appealed to anybody who was travelling in the Fahan area between 10.45pm and 11pm to get in contact with his office.

He said a number of people came across the crash soon after it happened.

The road where the crash occurred remained closed on Friday while investigators continued to look into the cause of the two car collision.

Garda Superintendent McGovern appealed to motorists to slow down as bad weather at this time of year can create hazardous driving conditions.

Meanwhile at least two communities have been devastated, with few able to continue with their seasonal celebrations. For staff and friends at Patrick’s bar the tragedy comes just a fortnight after the sudden death of one more beloved member of their community and so is a particularly bitter burden.

In Derry a family mourns a brightly glowing daughter and a community loses one of its most brightly shining lights.