Newry left in state of 'shock and sadness' following deaths of three people in road crash
Communities across Northern Ireland have been plunged into grief after one of the worst weekends on the roads claimed the lives of five people.
Three people - including a man in his 20s and a mother and son - were killed in a two-vehicle crash on the main north-bound Dublin to Belfast NI road at Carrickcarnan in Co Louth in the early hours of Saturday morning.
The victims were named as Mary Faxton in her 80s and her son Kevin, who was in his 50s. Both were from Bessbrook. Bryan Magill, from Newry was also killed.
Just hours earlier in Co Cavan, Gospel outreach workers Ian Kennedy from Donemana in Co Tyrone and Joan McAlister, from Portadown, in Co Armagh, both in their 60s, were killed in a two-car collision on the N55 Ballinagh.
The crash happened at around 7pm. Gardaí said it was believed their car collided with a jeep.
Gardaí were last night questioning a man in his 20s following the crash in Louth. He was being held at Dundalk Garda Station.
Newry and Armagh MP Mickey Brady said there was widespread shock and a deep sadness within the Cloughreagh community as news of the deaths. "Our thoughts and prayers are with all who have lost loved ones," he said.
Archview United FC last night were among those who paid tribute to Mr Magill, who was a talented young footballer with the club.
On Facebook they said that all at the club "are heartbroken by the untimely death of one of our top men Bryan (bru) Magill" who would be "remembered by all of us as a gentleman".
Another tribute said: "Absolutely heartbroken.... one of the nicest fellas you’d ever meet, always had time for you real gentleman."
His former club, Newry Celtic, said it was "deeply saddened by the tragic death of our former player and friend Bryan “Bru” Magill".
"The club would like to extend their deepest sympathies to his family at this devastating loss," it added.
Meanwhile Bessbrook priest Fr Seán Larkin said the death of mother and son Mary and Kevin Faxton had left "a state of shock in the parish."
Gardaí, who remained at the scene of the crash yesterday with both north and south-bound carriageways closed, have appealed for anyone with information or drivers with dash cam footage to contact them.
They have also appealed for information following the crash on Friday in Ballinagh in Co Cavan which two gospel outreach workers were killed.
Miss McAllister's sister, Valerie Ruddell, said that the pair "brought the word of God to people in Ireland".
"Joan worked with Irish Bible Ministries and Irish Evangelistic Band and visited homes and care homes as part of the outreach work. They shared the message in words and songs," she said.
On Facebook, the Dennett Valley (Men's Shed) wrote that it was "with a very heavy heart that news has been confirmed of the tragic passing (of Ian Kennedy).
"Ian was a member of our Dennett Valley Men's Shed Committee and a huge advocate of what we are doing for the people of Donemana and the surrounding community," it said.
In total seven people have lost their lives in road crashes across the Republic since Friday.
A teenage girl was killed in Oughterard, Co Galway, in the early hours of Sunday after the car she was a passenger in hit a wall.
A man in his 20s was killed when he was struck by an articulated lorry on the N54 between Monaghan and Clones at around 11.15am on Saturday.