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Heartbreaking tributes as tragic couple killed in Monaghan crash are named

Ronnie and Jean Hollinger were involved in a multi-vehicle collision between a lorry and two cars just after 6pm on Thursday evening.

Ronnie and Jean Hollinger

Maeve McTaggart and Neil FetherstonhaughSunday World

Tributes have begun to pour in for the couple in their 60s who were killed yesterday in a road accident in Co Monaghan.

Ronnie and Jean Hollinger were involved in a multi-vehicle collision between a lorry and two cars just after 6pm on the N2 at Castleblayney.

A female passenger of the second car, a woman in her 60s, was taken to Our Lady of Lourdes Drogheda to be treated for “critical” injuries, Gardai said.

A funeral notice for the couple reads that “Ronnie and Jean will be dearly missed by their heartbroken family”.

A funeral service for the couple will take place in Elim Church, Ballybay Road, Monaghan at 1 pm on Monday, followed by interment afterwards in Coolshannagh burial grounds Monaghan.

"There are no words that can express the grief,” one mourner writes, while others show their shock at the sudden loss of the couple.

"Profoundly saddened to learn of Ronnie and Jeans tragic passing,” another writes.

“Heartfelt sympathy to the Hollinger family on the sad & tragic passing of your beloved parents,” a note reads.

“My thoughts and prayers are with you all at this most difficult & lonely time.”

Since the shock crash on the N2 at Mullaghanee, Castleblayney that took the lives of Ronnie and Jean and left another seriously injured, local politicians have highlighted the dangers of the fatal stretch of road.

Councillor Colm Carthy told that “the N2 stretch specifically between Ardee and Castleblaney is one of, if not the worst, stretches of road in the country, in terms of the number of fatalities.

“I’ve been on Monaghan County Council for more than eight years and I actually can't off the top of my head remember the number of times we’ve offered condolences to the families whose loved ones were killed on that stretch of road.

“We’re not talking about a handful here, we're talking about more than a dozen in a short space of time. I don't know the exact figures but there have been multiple fatalities and individual crashes.”

Another local councillor, Noel Keelan said: “At times like this you're thinking about the families and the friends and neighbours of those who have been killed and injured, and all our prayers are with them.

“Obviously the Gardaí will carry out an investigation but what I can tell you is that the N2, as many people across Monaghan will tell you, is one of the most heavily trafficked roads in the region.

“There are 10,000 to 12,000 vehicles a day on it, and back some time ago it was recognised as one of the most dangerous roads in the country.

“That's why there is a plan to have it upgraded and one of the reasons is because of the number of fatalities on that road.”

The road is currently closed to allow for a technical examination to be conducted by forensic collision investigators and local diversions are in place.

Gardaí are appealing for any witnesses to the collision to come forward.

Any road users who may have camera footage, including dash-cam footage, and who were travelling on the N2 at Castleblayney between 6.05pm and 6.30pm, are asked to make this footage available to Gardaí.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Castleblayney Garda Station on 042 974 7900, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda Station.

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