A family has been left “devastated” after a crash in Co Tipperary killed a young boy and his grandparents, Irish police have said.
Thomas O’Reilly, 45, his wife Bridget O’Reilly, 46, and their three-year-old grandson Tom O’Reilly died in the collision in Cashel on Tuesday evening.
The child’s parents, both aged 22, were injured in the crash.
The man is being treated for serious injuries while the woman was in a better condition.
The crash came only days after four young people were killed in a separate road collision in nearby in Clonmel, also in Co Tipperary.
Elsewhere in Ireland, a man in his 40s died in a single vehicle crash at Carrowreagh on Tuesday morning, while on Wednesday there was another tragedy on the roads when a three-year-old girl was killed in a collision in Portlaoise in Co Laois.
Grandparents Thomas and Bridget O’Reilly who were killed in the Cashel crash were from the Waller’s Lot area of the town.
Garda Superintendent Kieran Ruane said the local community was shocked and deeply saddened by the incident.
The single-vehicle collision occurred shortly before 9pm when a car hit a wall in the Windmill-Knockbulloge area of Cashel.
“I want to express my sincere condolences and the sympathies of every member of An Garda Siochana to the family and friends of Thomas, Bridget and Tom on this tragic loss of life,” said Mr Ruane.
He said Garda would investigate all circumstances of the collision.
The officer also commended the response of emergency services to the incident.
“Our local community here in Cashel is shocked and deeply saddened by this tragic road traffic collision involving five members of one family, with three deceased,” he said.
“I have spoken with the family of the deceased this morning, a family that is devastated by this terrible incident.
“I assured the family and I want to assure the community that local gardai here in south Tipperary are here to support them and the community, as we all come to terms with this tragedy over the coming days, weeks and months.
“I want to take the opportunity to appeal to any person with any information on this road traffic collision to contact the investigation team at Cahir Garda station.”
Parish priest Fr Enda Brady said that because the Cashel crash happened so close and so soon after the fatal collision in Clonmel “it’s just given a totally numb feeling around the town”.
“People don’t know how to put it into words, they don’t know how to express what they’re feeling,” he told the PA news agency.
A vigil for the victims is to be held in St John the Baptist Church in Cashel at 3pm on Thursday.
Irish premier Leo Varadkar paid tribute to the victims of the latest road tragedy to hit the county of Tipperary.
“My sincere condolences to the friends and family of the people killed in the road incident in Cashel. May they rest in peace,” the Taoiseach posted on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.
”My thoughts are with everyone in Tipperary with this awful news coming so soon after the tragic deaths in Clonmel.”
Mags Casey of the Tipperary Rural Travellers Project said that she has known the O’Reilly family for 23 years.
“The Travelling community all over Ireland are shocked, devastated and numb, at this particular point,” she told RTE’s News At One.
Mr Ruane, who also spoke to media following the Clonmel crash, said welfare support was being offered to emergency personnel who had dealt with the fatal incidents.
“Whilst we wear these uniforms and we have PPE equipment, that doesn’t stop us from seeing what we see and causing emotions,” he said.
“It is difficult for first responders to deal with that. But we do our job, and we do it well.”
Mr Ruane said he had tried to give words of comfort to the family.
“We understand what they’re going through, they’re numb, they’re trying to deal with the loss of three family members, and such a young life lost in those three, it’s very difficult,” he said.
“You offer words of comfort and support and that’s all really you can do in such circumstances.”
Mr Ruane said while weather was a factor in Clonmel crash, he said it was too early in the investigation to determine whether it played a role in the Cashel collision.
“It’s too early to establish what the exact cause of the collision was,” he added.
The crash in Clonmel claimed the lives of 24-year-old Luke McSweeney, his 18-year-old sister Grace McSweeney and Zoey Coffey and Nicole Murphy, both also 18.
Mr McSweeney was driving the teenagers to a bus on Friday when the car overturned and crashed into a wall.
The youngsters were on their way to celebrate their Leaving Cert exam results, which they had received earlier on Friday.