Two young men have been killed in a horror collision.
Thomas Hurley (31) and Thomas McCormack, aged in his mid-twenties, were killed early yesterday morning after the motorcycle they were travelling on collided with a van on the N80 Portlaoise to Carlow road.
The incident occurred close to Arles, Co Laois, and the van driver was brought to the Midlands Regional Hospital. He is understood not to have sustained serious injuries.
Both of the men who were fatally injured are understood to be from Co Carlow, and they bring the total number of motorcyclists to have died on Irish roads to 15 this year.
This reflects a slight decrease on the figure from the same period last year, which then stood at 16.
The Road Safety Authority last night said that there have been a total of 109 Irish road fatalities this year, adding that they are "concerned" over the "high instance of motorcycle fatalities".
In 2013, 27 people were killed off of motorcycles - almost a 70pc increase on the year prior.
Earlier this summer, the Government and RSA launched a safety campaign directed specifically at motorcycle riders, describing them as the most "vulnerable road users".
Laois County Councillor John Moran said that Friday's tragic accident occurred on a particularly "bad" stretch of the road, around one mile from Arles village.
He said that the road is in need of repair and "attention", and that there are several bad turns close to each other.
"There have been numerous minor accidents on that stretch, and a couple of months ago a truck turned over there," he added.