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Tributes paid after five people from Northern Ireland are killed in weekend of carnage on Republic roads

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Firefighters at the scene of the accident where three people from Newry were killed

Firefighters at the scene of the accident where three people from Newry were killed

Photopress Belfast

Bryan Magill

Bryan Magill

Joan McAlister, who died in a crash on the N55 at Ballinagh.

Joan McAlister, who died in a crash on the N55 at Ballinagh.

Firefighters at the scene of the accident where three people from Newry were killed

The heartbroken family of a Christian worker who died in a crash in Co Cavan has said she will be greatly missed.

Joan McAlister's death follows a weekend of carnage on the roads in the Republic that claimed the lives of five people from Northern Ireland.

Ms McAlister (66), from Portadown, was the passenger in a 4x4 which was involved in a collision with a car.

The driver of the vehicle, who has been named locally as Ian Kindley and is thought to be in his 60s, also lost his life in the crash on the N55 at Ballinagh.

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Joan McAlister, who died in a crash on the N55 at Ballinagh.

Joan McAlister, who died in a crash on the N55 at Ballinagh.

Joan McAlister, who died in a crash on the N55 at Ballinagh.

Ms McAlister's grieving family said she was a "loving sister" and "devoted aunt" as well as "a dedicated person and faithful friend devoted to serving God and helping others".

"Joan will be greatly missed by all her family and friends, said her loved ones in a statement.

"She was a loving sister of Valerie and sister-in-law of Freddie. She was also a devoted aunt of Esther, Jonathan, Andrew and Steven and great aunt of Evelyn, Joanna, Timothy, Bella, Nathan, Jake, Hannah and Katie."

Ms McAlister's family told how she served with the Irish Evangelistic Band following a career in teaching as "her desire was to share the Gospel with the people of Ireland".

They said she "greatly appreciated the support of many volunteers who helped in this work of visitation and outreach in counties Sligo, Leitrim, Donegal, Mayo and Roscommon".

They added: "In recent years she was pleased, with the help of other friends, to organise the distribution of the booklet 'No Longer Hoping' to every county in the Republic of Ireland.

"The booklet 'Hope in a Troubled World' was also distributed to 1.2m homes. Both books were written by Dick Keogh.

"Her great desire was to complete this distribution to the remaining 600,000 homes."

Ms McAlister's family said Joan visited residential homes and care centres in the Republic to share the Gospel in word and song with residents.

They added: "Everyone enjoyed these visits and they were always warmly welcomed back."

Newry and Armagh DUP MLA William Irwin, who said he had known Joan all his life, described the crash as a "terrible tragedy" and he offered his condolences to the families of both victims.

"Joan was a very dedicated individual who did a lot of very good work through out her life and was a valued member of the IEB organisation," Mr Irwin said.

Funeral arrangements have not yet been finalised.

Meanwhile, three people from Newry were killed in a fatal motorway crash just across the border in Co Louth in the early hours of Saturday.

Talented young footballer Bryan Magill died in a two-vehicle collision that also claimed the lives of mother and son Mary and Kevin Faxton.

Bryan Magill

The A1 southbound was closed for most of Saturday while emergency services dealt with the aftermath of the incident on the N1 at Carrickcarnan in Co Louth around 2.15am.

Bryan, who was in his 20s, and Mary and Kevin Faxton, who were in their 80s and 50s, all died at the scene. All those who died are understood to have lived near Bessbrook on the outskirts of Newry.

A young man in his 20s was arrested on Sunday night in connection with the crash that claimed all three of their lives.

A post on Newry Celtic Football Club's Facebook page reads: "Everyone at Newry Celtic are deeply saddened by the tragic death of our former player and friend Bryan "Bru" Magill."

Archview United Football Club said: "All at the club are heartbroken by the untimely death of one of our top men Bryan (bru) Magill!!!"

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