Latest: Mother, daughter and neighbour that were killed in crash named locally

Update 5pm: The victims of this morning's crash in Ardee, Co Louth have been named locally as Margaret McGonigle (69), daughter Mairead Mundy and family friend Rachel Cassidy Battles.

Update: The victims of this morning’s crash were travelling home from Dublin airport after a holiday.

The dead women were a mother and daughter and one of their next-door neighbours from Donegal.

It is understood the husbands of two of the women were also in two of the vehicles, and at least two children.

A male passenger who was also travelling in the car was seriously injured and remains in critcial condition in hospital.

The injured male, along with another male from one of the other cars, were rushed to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.

Garda Superintendent, Fergus Traynor said an ambulance was travelling on the road and came upon the accident.

Supt Traynor said the stretch of road where the accident happened is particularly dangerous.

Two of the women who died were from Bruckless in South Donegal, where Fr James Sweeney is the Parish Priest.

He has said there is a level of support and resilience in the community which will be vital in the days ahead.

The cause of the accident is not known but it is understood initial investigations are examining whether the driver of one of the cars swerved to avoid another vehicle.

It is understood the cars involved were a Vauxhall, a Toyota and a Volkswagen.

The stretch of the N2 where the crash happened - between Carrickmacross and Ardee, near the Monaghan-Louth border - has a speed limit of 100kph and is regarded as wide and relatively straight.

Colm Carthy, Sinn Féin councillor for Monaghan County Council, said politicians had been given a presentation in May on the potential to upgrade the road from Ardee to Castleblayney to a dual carriageway.

"Transport Infrastructure Ireland said it will be upgraded but not until the level of traffic increases," he said.

Update 10:58am: The three women killed in this morning’s crash were from Donegal.

Superintendent Fergus Treanor is appealing for anyone with information to contact them.

"Anybody that thinks they may have seen something that would be of interest in relation to the accident, it was around 12:30pm last night," she said

"I arrived at the scene around 1am and the road was reasonably quiet but if there is somebody out there who feels like they have something to offer, we would appreciate it if you would contact us at Ardee Garda station."

Superintendent Fergus Treanor at the scene near Aclint Bridge in Ardee, Co Louth, after three women were killed and two men seriously injured in a road accident involving three cars.

Earlier: Gardaí are investigating a fatal road collision after three women were killed this morning.

A three car collision occurred on the north Aclint Bridge, Ardee in Co Louth around 1am this morning.

A female driver aged 39 and two female passengers aged 37 and 69 have been killed.

Two males are seriously injured and have been removed to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda.

The three women and one man were in the same car while the another man was in a separate car, according to RTÉ.

The N2 is closed between Ardee and Aclint Bridge to facilitate an examination by Garda Forensic Collision Investigators and will remain closed for the day.

Diversions are in place but Gardaí are asking motorists using the M1 to divert at Junction 17 for Castleblayney.

Gardaí are appealing for witnesses to contact Ardee Garda Station 041 6871130, The Garda Confidential Line 1 800 666 111 or any Garda Station.

The scene of the crash where the road has been closed.

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