Tributes paid to three friends killed in horror crash at the weekend

Peter Hughes, Conall Havern and Gavin Sloan
Peter Hughes, Conall Havern and Gavin Sloan

Tributes have been paid to three university students killed in a horror collision at the weekend.

Peter Hughes, Conall Havern and Gavin Sloan perished in a crash on the A1 between Banbridge and Dromor on Sunday evening. 

Their deaths have plunged their families and friends into grief and despair, just weeks before they were to begin their second year at Queen's University in Belfast. 

The close friends were travelling on the motorway that links Belfast and Dublin when they were involved in a collision with a black Volkswagen car. They all died of injuries sustained in the horror crash. 

According to the Irish News, the young students had become close friends after meeting at Queen's University. 

They were returning home after leaving belongings at new digs when the tragedy occurred. 

The youngest of them, Peter Hughes who was from Dromintee, was  "someone who just had it all", his former principal said. 

"Peter had one of the sharpest minds I have ever encountered," Mr Jarlath Burns said. "He was just one of those lads that you knew that whatever he set his mind to, he was going to be a success.

"He was loved and very highly regarded by all in the school. The girl students and female teachers just loved him - he was a charmer and a utter gentleman.

"He was a very decent, caring and respectful young man and his loss to the school is absolutely devastating."

Conall Havern was described by Dermot McGovern, principal of Abbey Grammar School in Crieve in Newry, as a "down to earth, modest, friendly but very determined young man".

"Conall was a very bright student and aimed to study engineering at Queen's," he said.

"He was well-liked and respected by his peer group, which was shown by the support that he got from his friends and teachers when his father died suddenly at Christmas in his final A-level year.

"Despite that, he went on to get two As and two Bs and another AS Level."

Law student Gavin Sloan, from Attical, Kilkeel, was described by Kevin Martin, principal of St Louis High School, 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 in St Louis.

"Gavin was an exemplary student - conscientious and hard-working."

He added that Gavin had got exceptional A-level results and that his school was "deeply saddened" at the tragic loss of life of all three young men.