Gardaí probe crash that left boy (2), girl (7), and four others in hospital
Six people - including two children aged seven and two - were hospitalised after a car that was being tracked by gardaí collided with another on a rural road.
The devastating head-on smash, which destroyed one of the cars, occurred on the Portarlington to Monasterevin Road near Ballagh, Co Kildare, around midday yesterday.
The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) has confirmed investigators attended the scene of the crash as gardaí had been monitoring one of the cars involved in the collision.
However, it is believed the gardaí were some distance back when the crash occurred.
There were three male occupants in the car that was being tracked by gardaí. All three men, aged in their teens or early 20s, were injured in the crash.
Two were said to have sustained "serious injuries" with one of the men taken to Tallaght Hospital in Dublin.
Another man was rushed to Tallaght as well, but then transferred to Beaumont Hospital to receive further treatment.
The third occupant of the car was not believed to be seriously injured. He was taken to Tullamore General Hospital.
The two children in the other car also sustained injuries in the collision, along with the adult male driver. The two-year-old boy and seven-year-old girl, as well as the driver, were all taken to Tullamore General Hospital but their conditions were unclear last night.
Gardaí have issued an appeal for anyone who witnessed the incident to come forward.
A spokesperson for GSOC confirmed investigators had been called to the scene in order to establish the full details of the incident.
"The incident was referred to GSOC," the spokesperson said. "We sent two investigators to the scene and they are examining the circumstances but it shouldn't be assumed because it's referred to GSOC that there is necessarily any garda misconduct here."
A Garda spokesperson said GSOC investigators had examined the scene and had referred the case back to gardaí to conduct their investigations.
It is believed the gardaí came across the car driving erratically and decided to follow from a distance.
The occupants in the car may not have been aware they were being followed.
After the crash, the officers who had been following the car were the first to come across the scene and raised the alarm.
Meanwhile, an Irishman has been killed in a motorcycle accident in South America not long after finishing a gruelling 48,000km journey to raise money for charity.
Offaly native Noel Dempsey (56) set off on his journey from the most northern part of North America right down to its most southern tip of Argentina in July.
Tragically, Mr Dempsey was killed in a collision with a car last week, not long after he had finished his dream trip.
He was on his way to Buenos Aires when the accident happened.