217 people have died on Irish roads this year

THE death toll on Irish roads rose further when six people were killed in accidents in five counties on Saturday.

The weekend carnage began at 1am, when 27-year-old Fran Mitchell from Greystones, Co Wicklow drove a car into a pole on the town’s Bray Road near his home at Redford Park.

Less than an hour later, another single vehicle collision claimed the life of a man. Christopher Hunt, 33, from Skibbereen, Co Cork, was the driver of a car which hit a wall and pillar at Market Street in the town.

Two passengers were taken to Bantry General Hospital but their injuries were not life-threatening.

By breakfast time on Saturday, another two people had been killed on the roads, including a young Co Cork man involved in a two-car collision near Kanturk.

Thomas O’Brien, aged 24 and from Kilroe, Kanturk, was the driver of one of the cars which crashed on the Mallow Road at 7.30am. He died of serious head injuries after being taken to Mallow General Hospital.

Two of the other four men in the two cars were injured, one of them seriously.

A 70-year-old woman died in a two-car crash at Rathduff, Balla, Co Mayo at 8.45am on Saturday. Julie Fitzgerald of Aisling Manor, Balla, was a passenger in one of the cars and was pronounced dead at the scene.

At around 7pm, a 22-year-old motorcyclist died after a crash with a car at Monaseed Demesne, Gorey, Co Wexford. He has been named as Mark Clare from Glenogue, Coolgreany, Co Wexford.

An hour later, the sixth weekend road accident victim was killed in a single-car collision near Ballymahon, Co Longford. Eva Butler, 28, from River Valley Drive in Swords, Co Dublin, was an occupant of the car.

The latest fatalities bring the death toll this month to 32, just six fewer than in the whole of July 2004, and to 217 for the year to date.

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