American tourist 'critically injured' after head-on collision en route to Blarney Castle
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American tourist 'critically injured' after head-on collision en route to Blarney Castle

A US tourist has suffered serious injuries following a nightmarish head-on collision in Co. Cork.

Gardaí have closed the N20 Cork-Limerick road near the Waterloo junction, on the outskirts of Cork city, following the two-car collision shortly after 11am today.

One of the vehicles involved was a hire car carrying an American couple on holiday in Ireland.

It is understood that they were en route to Blarney Castle when the accident occurred.

The male driver of the hire car suffered multiple injuries and was rushed to Cork University Hospital (CUH) by paramedics.

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His condition has been described as "critical".

A female was also treated at the scene for non life-threatening injuries. A third individual was treated for shock but escaped without injury.

Gardaí, Cork Fire Brigade and a number of ambulances attended the scene.

The section of road where the incident occurred remains closed to allow for a technical examination of the scene.

Motorists are being urged to avoid the area if possible as diversions will be in place for the remainder of the day.

In a statement, a Garda spokesman said: "We can confirm a collision occurred on the N20 Cork to Mallow road this morning at around 11am at the Waterloo Junction.

"The road will be closed for technical examination. If travelling to Limerick please use the M8.

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"A male (no age yet) will be taken to hospital and his injuries are thought to be critical."

The crash occurred at the same junction where two US tourists, 60s, were killed in a head-on collision with a lorry and another vehicle on September 11, 2017.

Gardaí have now appealed for witnesses to today's collision to contact them.

Anyone with information on the incident is urged to contact Gurranabraher Garda Station on 021 494 6200.