Devastation as four lose their lives in eight hours of road carnage
Families and communities were left devastated after four young men were killed in three separate road collisions across the country.
The tragic incidents occurred in the space of eight hours yesterday morning in Kildare, Meath and Donegal.
A head-on collision in Co Kildare resulted in the death of a 24-year-old man in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
The victim was named as Michael Naughton, of Balraheen, Maynooth. The incident occurred on the road between Kilcock and Clane in Co Kildare. It is understood a car and a truck collided at Baltracey.
The collision happened at 11.30pm, and Mr Naughton was the sole occupant of the car.
The driver of the truck was taken to Blanchardstown Hospital and is being treated for minor injuries. Mr Naughton's father, Walter, paid tribute to his "pleasant and kind" son last night. "You wouldn't meet a nicer lad. He was a very quiet fella and a very pleasant, young man," he said.
"He brought a lot of joy… it's just so sad. Michael was a saint."
The heartbroken father said his son was due to celebrate his 25th birthday next week.
Meanwhile, a 42-year-old man was fatally injured when the car he was driving collided with a second vehicle.
Father-of-two Shane Fleming, from Celbridge, Co Kildare, died after the incident on the R152 Dunboyne to Maynooth Road at Castlefarm, near Dunboyne. The driver and four passengers in the second car were moved to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Neighbours in the quiet cul de sac of Thornhill Gardens, where Mr Fleming lived were coming to terms with his death last night.
In Donegal, the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) are investigating a crash that left two young men dead. The men who have been named locally as Barney McGinley and Dermot Boyle, were in their late teens and early 20s.
At 4.45am the car they were travelling in collided with a van on the inbound carriageway of the N13 at Trimragh, Letterkenny, Co Donegal.
"It appears there had been some interaction between gardaí and the vehicle in which the two young men were travelling prior to the collision. "GSOC will examine the circumstances to establish the facts in this regard," said a spokesperson.
The tragic deaths come just a day after it was reported the number of people killed on Irish roads has risen from this time last year.
New death figures from the Road Safety Authority (RSA) revealed on Tuesday that 98 people have lost their lives so far this year in road accidents.
The death toll has now risen to 100 following the two collisions overnight.