Enniskeane student caught up in Spanish bus crash

March 27th, 2016 2:22 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Shirley Brookes of Murragh, Enniskeane

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A UCC student from Enniskeane, who was injured in the bus crash in North East Spain last Sunday morning, which claimed the lives of 13 students, was expected to leave hospital by the end of the week.

Shirley Brookes from Murragh was one of several students who sustained injuries when the bus they were travelling in crashed near Tarragona in Spain. 

Shirley was accompanied by two other fellow UCC students, Helena Phelan from Kerry and Niamh Maxwell from Cork, and they had been returning to Barcelona from the Las Fallas fireworks festival in Valencia on a bus with exchange students.

‘Shirley is doing fine now and hopefully she will be leaving hospital on Thursday. I was speaking to her to this morning and she’s in good form,’ said Shirley’s mother, Valerie Brookes.

‘She did hurt her back, but it could have been a lot worse and her brother, Nigel, has gone over to be with her and, hopefully, she will get to come home soon. She’s a lucky girl for sure.’

The former Bandon Grammar School student is currently taking part in the Erasmus programme in the University of Barcelona, as part of her third year in Commerce International with Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies. 

It was confirmed that two representatives from UCC – one from the academic staff and another from its counselling staff – travelled to Barcelona on Tuesday to provide assistance to the three students. UCC has 11 students taking part in Erasmus programmes at the University of Barcelona.

It is believed that the bus, which was carrying 57 passengers, crossed the central reservation and collided with an oncoming car. The death toll included seven Italian students, one Romanian student, one French student, one Austrian student and a student from Uzbekistan. Of the 43 injured, 25 were taken to hospital with varying injuries.

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