A Co Fermanagh man who died alongside a fellow rally driver in Co Sligo has been remembered as "one of life's true gentlemen".
Daíre Maguire (46) from Lisnaskea in Co Fermanagh was the passenger in a Ford Escort during the Sligo Stages Rally, with the car driven by Gene McDonald (35) from Cootehill in Co Cavan.
Both men died at the scene after the vehicle hit a wall in the Carrigans Lower area near Ballymote.
Emergency services had rushed to the scene of the event which was organised by Connacht Motor Club.
The rally was immediately suspended and gardai sealed off the area to begin their investigation while urging people not to share footage of the crash.
After both men's bodies were taken to Sligo University Hospital, post-mortem examinations were due to take place on Monday.
Mr Maguire had worked for the CADCO bathroom showroom in Lisnaskea, which said his colleagues and the wider community had been left devastated by his sudden death.
"It is with heartfelt sadness and deepest regret that we announce the death of our friend and colleague, Daíre Maguire," a post from the company read.
"Daíre died tragically competing at the Sligo Rally on Sunday. Daíre was one of life’s true gentlemen, a highly respected member of staff by both customers and colleagues and will be missed immensely by all.
"On behalf of everyone at Cadco, we offer Daíre’s wife and our colleague Breda, his children Megan and Christopher and his wider family and friends our most sincere condolences and sympathy at this difficult time."
Mr McDonald had been a member of Cavan Motor Club, who extended its "deepest sympathies" to the families.
“Both Gene and Daire were highly regarded in the sport, and their friendly manner knew no bounds,” a statement from the club read.
“The motorsport family will gather to support all those involved and affected by this tragedy.
“May the kind souls of Gene and Daire rest eternally in peace. ‘Til we meet again.”
Speaking to RTÉ, Motorsport Ireland's sporting manager Art McCarrick called it a "difficult and dark day" for the motor racing community.
He added to calls for the public not to circulate footage of the tragedy, and said any remaining videos should be removed from social media.
Mr McCarrick explained that the crash occurred on the sixth stage of the event, and that both men had been "experienced competitors".
"The driver had over 15 years experience and the co-driver had over 20 years experience and both regular competitors in the border, midland and west region and well respected," he said.
"It was the second running of that bit of road. It was used earlier in the day as stage three and just before 3pm, the car left the road and it collided with a wall and unfortunately the driver and the co-driver succumbed to their injuries."
He said that while safety for competitors was a core value, he said that there was still a risk of fatal accidents in sports and "tragically it was our sport yesterday".
At this stage, he said he was unaware if road conditions had contributed to the crash, but any such details would form part of the police investigation.
A Facebook page dedicated to the past pupil at Ballagh and Donagh Primary School offered its “sincere condolences” to Mr Maguire’s family.
“May he rest in peace. Thinking of Eamon, Bernie, Catherine, Conor, Eamon Jnr, his wife Breda & children and the extended families. Such heartbreaking news,” it said.
A Garda spokesman commented: “An Garda Siochana is requesting that footage of this collision is not shared across social media or messaging applications. Anyone with video footage is asked to make this available to gardai.”
In a statement, Motorsport Ireland said a full investigation would be carried out and that it extended its “deepest sympathies to the families and friends of two competitors who were fatally injured during a tragic accident while competing on the sixth stage of the 2023 Sligo Stages Rally”.
The statement added: “Motorsport Ireland also extends its sympathies to the members of Connacht Motor Club and everyone involved with organising today’s event who reacted so quickly and professionally to the incident.
“Motorsport Ireland and its affiliated clubs are recognised internationally for operating to the highest standards of motorsport safety for competitors and spectators in line with the best practice of the FIA.
“Motorsport Ireland has begun a full investigation with the relevant authorities into the events at today’s event to establish how this accident occurred.”