A teenager heading out to celebrate New Year's Eve suffered fatal head injuries in a road traffic accident just metres from her home.
Roisín O'Donovan (16) suffered serious head injuries when she was hit by a car while out walking on Main Street in Ballincollig, Co Cork.
The teenager became the first road traffic fatality of 2019 - just hours after the Road Safety Authority said 2018 had seen the lowest rate of road traffic deaths for almost half a century.
The fatal incident occurred shortly before 8pm on Monday as the teenager was walking to meet friends to celebrate the arrival of the new year.
The scene of the accident was just metres from traffic lights in the busy Co Cork town.
It is understood Roisín, having been hit by a car, may have struck her head off metal railings by the crossing when she fell.
The driver of the car was uninjured but was treated at the scene for shock.
Paramedics and a local GP were at the scene, not far from a local Tesco outlet, within minutes, with the teen then rushed to Cork University Hospital (CUH).
Despite desperate efforts to stabilise her condition, she was pronounced dead at CUH on Tuesday night having been on a life-support machine for several hours.
Roisín was from the Muskerry estate area and was a transition year student in Ballincollig Community College.
She had been excited over her upcoming transition year school trip to France, which was in a few weeks' time.
Local councillors Daithí O Donnabháin and Derry Canty said the entire community was in shock over the tragedy. "It has cast a dark shadow over the entire New Year for everyone in Ballincollig. It is a terrible tragedy," Councillor Canty said.
"I didn't know the teenager myself but I know her family, who are all from the Ballincollig area," he said.
"They are a lovely family and my deepest sympathies go out to them."
Councillor O Donnabháin said it was a very upsetting start to 2019 for everyone locally.
"Your heart goes out to this poor family. Everyone in the area is very upset for them," he said. "I heard locally that she was either going to her grandparents' house or coming from it when the accident happened. It is absolutely heartbreaking."
Ballincollig parish priest Fr George O'Mahony said the prayers of the entire community were now for Roisín's grief-stricken family.