Fine Gael Longford/Westmeath TD James Bannon said the woman killed in a road accident today was his secretary Bernie Kelly.
He said he was deeply saddened by the mother-of-one’s death.
“Her tragic death has come as a terrible shock to all who knew and loved her,” he said.
“Bernie worked with me for the last 12 years, since I first entered the Oireachtas. She was not only an extremely loyal employee, but she was also a great source of personal support.
“I have known Bernie all my life; we grew up in the same area, we went to school together and she was a very close personal friend to me over the years.
“I have not only lost an exceptional secretary but a very loyal friend.”
The 55-year-old pedestrian suffered fatal injuries in the collision in Legan Village at about 1.30am.
She was pronounced dead at the scene and her body was removed to The Midlands Regional Hospital at Mullingar.
The driver of the vehicle involved, a man in his early 40s, was arrested at the scene.
He has been detained under the provisions of Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984 at Longford garda station.
The road section where the crash happened has been closed to facilitate an examination by Garda forensic collision investigators.
Gardaí have appealed for witnesses to the collision to come forward.