A horrific car crash in Dublin has claimed the lives of a young mother-of-two and a great-grandfather.
The victims, named locally as John 'Pops' Nulty (72) and Rachel Coughlan (34), were killed in the head-on collision on the Drumcondra Road Lower at around 6.30am yesterday.
It's understood that Mr Nulty, who is originally from Balbriggan, was on his way to a hospital appointment when the crash happened.
"I was his best friend for years. He's the type of person to give you the moon and the stars and expect nothing in return," a family friend told the Herald.
Gardai are attempting to establish Ms Coughlan's movements early yesterday morning and are working to establish if she was present at a house in the area with a number of people before the tragic collision.
Emergency services were alerted to the incident but both drivers were pronounced dead at the scene.
Their bodies were removed to the Dublin City Morgue in nearby Whitehall, where post-mortem examinations will be carried out to confirm the causes of death.
Officers attached to Mountjoy Garda Station are investigating the circumstances surrounding the crash and have appealed for witnesses to come forward.
At this stage, investigators believe one of the vehicles crossed the road and collided with the other.
However, sources stressed examinations into the tragedy are at a very early stage and further inquiries will be carried out.
Drumcondra Road Lower was sealed-off for several hours yesterday as members of the Garda Technical Bureau carried out an examination of the scene, along with forensic collision investigators.
Tributes were last night paid to Mr Nulty, who is survived by his wife, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren as well as his siblings.
Rachel Coughlan, who is originally from Dublin's north-inner city, is survived by her two young sons.
"A man in his 70s and woman in her 30s (both sole occupants of the vehicles) were fatally injured in a road traffic collision on the Drumcondra Rd Lower," a statement from the garda press office said.
"Gardai are appealing to motorists with dashcams or anyone travelling on Drumcondra Rd Lower between 6.15am and 6.45am to contact Mountjoy Garda Station on 016668600, the Garda Confidential Line 1800-666-111 or any Garda station."
The accident has brought to 41 the number of people who have died on Irish roads so far this year.
Gardai have expressed concern about the rise in fatal incidents compared to 2018.
"Road deaths have increased by nearly 30pc in 2019.
"This upward trend must be addressed immediately and An Garda Siochana appeal to every road user to re-double their efforts and to use the road as safely as they possibly can," gardai said in a statement.