The crash occurred at approximately 5.10pm around 200 metres to the north side of Mallow General Hospital on the N20 Cork to Limerick Road in the townland of Baltydaniel.
The two deceased were named locally as Con and Mary McCarthy from Velvetstown near Buttevant. They were in their early 70s and are survived by three sons, John, David, and Conor.
The deceased were driving a dark grey Toyota Avensis (08 C), which was travelling southbound when it was involved in a collision with a black Toyota Lexus (02 D) travelling in the opposite direction.
The elderly couple were pronounced dead at the scene and their bodies were taken to Cork University Hospital where a postmortem will be carried out this morning.
The driver of the other vehicle was a woman in her late 20s, who was treated at the scene by paramedics.
The area was cordoned off while a Garda crash scene investigation team started their inquiries. Diversions were put in place while an examination was undertaken and the wreckage removed.
Former county councillor Tom Sheahan described the deceased as “the most genuine couple you could ever meet”.
“Con was one of the most loyal and dedicated Fine Gael people you ever met,” said Mr Sheehan. “Everything he was involved in he gave 100% to. He had a great love of Gaelic football and he was hugely committed to the IFA.
“Mary was a nurse and originally from Co Mayo. They were the most genuine couple you could ever meet. If we had more people like that in the world, it would be a far greater place.”
Superintendent Pat Lehane, who is in charge of the investigation, appealed for any witnesses who may have seen either of the cars prior to the accident or when the accident occurred to contact Mallow Garda Station on 022 31450, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666111, or any Garda station.
This is the second fatal road accident in North Cork in recent weeks. Last month, a man in his 70s died following a multi-vehicle crash on a nearby stretch of the N20 south of Mallow.
Rod Sweetnam, 73, from Castlemartyr, near Midleton, in East Cork, died after the cab of the truck he was driving separated from the vehicle after it struck up to four cars travelling in the opposite direction on the N20, about 400m south of Mallow town centre.
According to Garda statistics, a total of 45 people have been killed on Irish roads since the start of the year. This is an increase of six on the same period for 2015, when a total of 166 people were killed on the roads.