The three women who died in this morning’s fatal three car collision on the N2 north of Ardee have been named locally in Donegal.
The three women – Margaret McGonigle (69) from Castlereagh in Bruckless, daughter Mairead Munday and her friend Rachel Battles, both from Ballyloughan in Bruckless, are reported to have died instantly in the three car collision that took place shortly before 1am this morning at Aclint Bridge between Ardee and Carrickmacross.
The two younger women are aged 37 and 39 and Rachel Battles is a neighbour of mother and daughter Mrs McGonigle and Mrs Mundy.
The women were travelling from Dublin Airport back to their small village in Donegal, having just returned from a foreign holiday hours earlier. Two others – reported to be a six-year-old child and man in his 30s, were seriously injured in the incident and they remain in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital tonight.
It is believed one of those seriously injured was travelling with the three women – and the other was in another vehicle. Occupants of the third car involved were not hurt, it is understood.
The women were all from the small Donegal village of Bruckless – population of around 200 people.
— RTÉ News (@rtenews) July 21, 2017
Speaking to the media at the scene today, Ardee Gardai Superintendent Fergus Treanor said, “An ambulance that was travelling on the road came upon the accident and they were able to assist at the scene. An off-duty garda was also among the first people at the scene.
“It was a very substantial accident,” Treanor said. “It was a tough scene.
“The road was wet but it wasn’t raining at the time of the accident,” added. “Later, weather conditions deteriorated horrendously with very heavy rain at the scene,” he said.
Gardai have been carrying out detailed forensic examinations at the scene all day and the N2 between Ardee and Carrickmacross remains closed – but Gardai say it will reopen at around 7pm this evening. Recovery vehicles arrived at the scene to take away the cars involved at around 4pm today.
Gardaí are appealing for witnesses to the incident to contact Ardee Garda Station on 041 687 113 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1 800 666 111.
This tragedy takes to five the number of people who have been killed on the N2 north and south of Ardee in 2017. In January, cousins Kathy McDonald and Josie Duff died south of Ardee after disembarking a bus at the Hunterstown Inn.
Reacting to today’s tragic events just north of Ardee, Fianna Fail TD Declan Breathnach said, “This was very sad news to wake up to Friday morning. The crash happened in the early hours of the morning and we don’t know the full circumstances of what happened yet. The road was wet at the time of the accident, however, this is a road that has been highlighted as dangerous as it has claimed a number of lives over the past number of years.
“While it is a good wide road with many straight stretches, it needs to be a dual carriageway.”
“The three women who died in the three-car collision were from Co Donegal and were travelling home from Dublin Airport after returning from holiday. My heart goes out to the families of all involved,” he continued.
Awful news of 3 women killed in car crash outside Ardee. Thoughts & prayers with their families & friends.
— Gerry Adams (@GerryAdamsSF) July 21, 2017