Online condolence book opens for Kurdish family killed in highway crash in Galway

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A condolence book has opened online for the Kurdish family killed in a tragic highway crash in Galway last week.

Karzan Sabah Ahmed, his wife, Shahen Qasm, and their nine-month-old baby daughter Lena died when another motorist entered the highway from the wrong side and crashed into their vehicle.

In a statement, Galway Mayor Colette Connelly expressed her “sincere condolences to the families and loved ones of Karzan Sabah D Ahmed, his wife Shahen Qasm and their eight month old baby daughter Lena”.

“I would also like to express my condolences to the entire Kurdish community for whom this tragic loss of life is so incomprehensible and just as devastating,” she said.

Anyone who wishes to share their condolences can do so via the Galway City Council website.

Repatriation fundraising raises 85K € in less than 24 hours

At the same time, fundraising to repatriate their bodies raised more than € 85,000 less than 24 hours after its implementation.

Karzan’s friend and colleague John Carey launched GoFundMe last night with an initial goal of € 40,000.

Mr Carey said it had taken a few days to process the tragic, shocking and “senseless” death of his friend Karzan and his family, but that there would be “a little comfort in bringing them home” .

“He was a lovely, gentle soul and a great entomologist,” he wrote.

“Karzan has always been there. A friend, a colleague, part of a large group of people. He has made a lasting contribution to our understanding of Irish biodiversity and I will be eternally grateful to him.

Karzan and his colleagues in happier times. Photo: John Carey / Twitter

Karzan and his family had been living in Ireland since 2017 and had to return home to visit their family and introduce them to baby Lena. It is understood that they were visiting a property in Carlow, where Karzan had been offered a position as a lecturer.

“Their lives were just beginning,” explained Mr. Carey, “with Karzan just submitting his doctoral thesis, getting a new job and, of course, the unbridled joy of Lina’s birth.

“They were so happy. The only little solace we have is knowing that they’re still together.”

“You wouldn’t have met two nicer people, who loved Ireland and touched the lives of those they met,” he wrote.

“Many of us haven’t met Lina, and she has never met her family in Iraq. The brevity of her life is particularly hard to understand.

“The least we can do is try to get them home so they can find some peace.”

You can donate to fundraising here.


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