Belfast Telegraph

Two men killed after jeep swept away in river

Two men have died after their jeep was swept away in a river on Christmas Day.

A 19-year-old man who was also in the vehicle when it entered the Carrownisky River in Co Mayo managed to escape and reach land.

Gardai confirmed the bodies of the two victims - aged 26 and 27 - were found on Monday afternoon after a major search operation involving Garda divers and the Coastguard.

The vehicle entered the water near Louisburgh at about 2.30am on Monday.

The SUV was fully submerged as it was swept away. The man who managed to escape raised the alarm at about 3am.

Gardai are continuing to investigate the cause of the incident.

It is understood the men were returning to their homes in the area after a night socialising with friends.

The incident happened as the jeep was crossing a stretch of water that had become swollen amid bad weather conditions.

Mayo county councillor Christy Hyland said the victims were from well-known and respected families in the area.

"Our thoughts go out to their loved ones, their families and friends," he said.

"The whole community is in shock.

"This is a terrible tragedy to happen at any time, but especially on Christmas morning."

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