Men die after being swept away in river on Christmas Day

Two men have died after being swept away in their 4x4 while trying to drive across a flooded river on Christmas Day.

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Martin Needham, 27, and Declan Davitt, 26, were in the vehicle with their friend when they entered the Carrowniskey River in Co Mayo, Ireland at about 2.30am.

Their friend, aged 19, managed to escape the submerged vehicle and reach land, the Irish Examiner reports.

The men had been on a night out with friends when they tried to cross the stretch of water that had become swollen in bad weather.

Their bodies were recovered on Monday afternoon following a major search operation involving divers and the Coastguard.

Local Independent Councillor Christy Hyland told the Irish Mirror: "Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the families.

"It's a terrible tragedy at any time but particularly on Christmas morning.

"The whole community is in shock. The young fellas were in the prime of their lives."

The two men's funerals will be held later this week.

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