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Two men in SUV die after being swept away in river on Christmas Day

Two men have died after their SUV was swept away in a river on Christmas Day after a night out with friends.

A 19-year-old survivor, who was also in the vehicle when it entered the Carrowniskey River in County Mayo, Ireland, managed to escape and reach dry land before raising the alarm at about 3am.

Irish police confirmed the two men, aged 26 and 27, were found after a large-scale search operation involving divers and the coastguard.

It is believed the incident took place as the men were returning to their homes in the area and crossing a stretch of water that had become swollen due to bad weather.

The vehicle entered the river near Louisburgh at about 2.30am before it became fully submerged as it was swept away.

Mayo county councillor Christy Hyland said the local community was in shock and that the men were from well-known and respected families.

He said: “Our thoughts go out to their loved ones, their families and friends.

More from Republic of Ireland

“The whole community is in shock. This is a terrible tragedy to happen at any time, but especially on Christmas morning.”

A police investigation into the cause of the incident is under way.

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