Alarm as number of road deaths this year reaches 40
Road safety campaigners and gardai have expressed alarm at a grim three months on Irish roads, with fatalities running nearly a third higher than the same period last year.
Five people died in five days, with two motorcyclists losing their lives in separate accidents in the space of 36 hours in Dublin and Cork.
In Carlow, five young people - a man and four teenage girls - were injured in a single-vehicle accident at Ballinabranagh shortly before noon yesterday.
All five were transferred to the Midland Hospital and St Luke's Hospital in Kilkenny, two with serious injuries.
The latest fatality involved a man in his 40s, who died after his motorcycle was in collision with a car in Cork.
The accident happened at Loughbeg, outside Ringaskiddy, shortly after 7pm on Tuesday.
The tragedy brings to 40 the number of people who have died on Irish roads so far this year.
It represents nearly a one-third increase on the number who died between January and March 2018.
Overall, last year represented a major breakthrough in terms of road safety, with a 5pc decline in fatalities to 148, eight fewer than in 2017.
However, there is now concern that if the trend of the past three months is reflected throughout the year, 2019 will mark a major step backwards in terms of road safety.
Road Safety Authority boss Moyagh Murdock has urged motorists to drive with care.
PARC road safety group stressed that the priority for every motorist should be arriving at their destination safely.
Garda National Roads Policing Bureau director Chief Superintendent Paul Cleary said it was a matter of serious concern that the recent level of fatalities was effectively the highest since 2014.
"Compared to this date last year, there are now 10 more people who have died on Irish roads," he said.
"This is very concerning. We must all redouble our efforts to act responsibly and keep the roads safe."