A parish priest has described the “horrific” scene where three young men died in a road accident in Co Tyrone.
The crash involving a car and a lorry happened at about 1.50am on Monday in the Omagh Road area of Garvaghy.
The parish priest in Beragh, Monsignor Colum Curry, said he visited the scene in the hours after the tragedy.
He told the BBC Good Morning Ulster programme: “It was a horrific accident – a lot of debris scattered over the road, the car was on its roof.
“The whole event just reminded me that life is precious and very fragile. There are very few words that I think can adequately speak into such terrible anguish.
“I suppose the best we can do is just try to be present and help them in some small way just to cope with the darkness of this awful event.
“It has just been a huge shock to everybody.”
The three men, all in their 20s, died at the scene and were among seven people killed on Irish roads in just over 24 hours.
The three were named locally as Nathan Corrigan, Petey McNamee and Peter Finnegan.
Mr Corrigan played with Beragh Red Knights GAA club and Mr Finnegan with Clogher Éire Óg, which sent its “sincere condolences” to the families involved on Monday night.
A fourth man, also in his 20s, was in hospital on Monday and was being treated for serious injuries.
Tributes were paid to the young men on social media on Monday evening from friends and family.
Local SDLP MLA Daniel McCrossan called it “heartbreaking news” and joined others, including Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill and local Alliance Party councillor Stephen Donnelly in sending their condolences to all the families impacted.
West Tyrone MP Orfhlaith Begley said: “The scale of this tragedy has stunned the entire community, but everyone will rally around to support all those affected in what will be difficult days ahead.”
There have been several other road deaths across Ireland since Christmas. In Dublin, a man in his 80s died after the bicycle he was riding collided with a car in Ballyfermot on Monday afternoon.
In Co Mayo, a man died following a two-car collision on Monday evening.
In Co Wicklow, a man in his 30s died following a crash on Monday night involving a car and a bus on the M11 at Ballynabarney.
In Co Wexford, a man in his early 20s was killed and a woman seriously injured in a two-car collision at about 5.20pm on Sunday in Ballintore, Ferns.