Two dead and six hospitalised in road carnage
Teen driver and cyclist lose lives in separate accidents as group of pals hurt in horror crash
Two people have been killed and six more hospitalised following a tragic 48 hours on Irish roads.
Six friends were hospitalised after a serious road traffic accident in Co Cavan yesterday morning.
The crash came as 17-year-old Evan Brennan was killed in Meath on Friday, and a cyclist in his 40s died in Cork yesterday.
In the horror accident in Cavan, the injured are all aged between 19 and 21. The friends were travelling in a black Volkswagen saloon car along the Claddagh Road near Mullagh village when their vehicle hit a ditch at approximately 5.30am.
Last night, Pete Rogers, Mark O'Brien, Edward O'Brien and Cormac Murphy, from Moynalty, Co Meath, were being treated at hospitals in the capital. Mr Rogers is understood to be in a critical condition in the Mater Hospital after suffering serious neck injuries.
Their friends, Shauna Daly, from Kells, Co Meath, and Noel Lynch from Kingscourt, Co Cavan, were treated at Cavan General Hospital.
First cousins Edward and Mark O'Brien, and Cormac Murphy were transferred to Dublin's James Connolly Memorial Hospital where their conditions are described as serious but stable.
Three of the young men played for their local GAA team in Moynalty and were described by locals as being very close and popular young men.
Pete plays for the club's senior side while Mark is on the club's Under-19 panel.
Edward has togged out for Moynalty at under-age level while Cormac is a member of Cúchulainn's GAA club based in the Mullagh parish.
One local, who asked not to be named, last night described the four young men as "extremely close" and said the accident had come as a massive shock to the local communities affected.
"They are all extremely close and are very popular in the local area. It's come as a huge shock to everyone. Our thoughts are now with them and hopefully they can all pull through OK," he said.
The scene of the serious accident remained sealed off throughout yesterday afternoon as Garda forensic collision investigators carried out examinations of the crash site.
The officers carried out a detailed inspection along the Claddagh Road, while a helicopter from the Garda Air Support Unit was used to carry out an aerial examination of the crash site.
A recovery vehicle was used to lift the black saloon car from the roadside, and transported it from the scene shortly after 4pm. A local man who lives near the scene of the crash described how he saw emergency services attend the scene early yesterday morning.
"I was leaving my house at around 6.30am and I saw the ambulances flying up the road. There have been a number of accidents along the road in recent years, I just hope the young people who are injured will be OK," he said.
Meanwhile, tributes have been paid to tragic Evan Brennan (17), who was killed when the car he was driving hit a fence in Ballivor in Co Meath.
Evan was from the Summerhill area of Co Meath, close to where the incident happened on Friday morning.
Local Fine Gael councillor Joe Fox described how the community had been left devastated by the tragedy.
"He was a lovely person and was from a lovely family. He was very involved in the GAA and he was a credit to his parents."
Cllr Fox said the whole community was reeling in shock.
"Everyone is shocked by this terrible tragedy. It's terrible and shocking. My condolences to the family."
Yesterday afternoon, a male cyclist in his forties was killed after colliding with a 4X4 in Cork. The victim was named locally as Donal O'Brien.
The incident occurred on the Ballincollig bypass at approximately 12.25pm.
Emergency services quickly responded but Mr O'Brien was pronounced dead at the scene.
Garda investigators examined the scene and the road was closed for several hours.
The fatalities over the weekend bring to 57 the number of people who have lost their lives on Irish roads this year.
Last week, a female cyclist was killed in a collision with a tractor in Kerry.