An inquest has been told that a car which crashed last year, killing four people on the Dublin to Sligo road, was unroadworthy despite the fact it had passed an NCT test just three months previously.

Three women and a ten-year-old girl died after their Nissan Almera veered inexplicably across the road striking another car near Mullingar on 28 June last year.

A legal representative for the driver's family said after the inquest that the crash needed to be further investigated.

Fanny Oraweme Akenbor, 44, was driving the car on the way home from an all-night prayer vigil in Dublin on the morning of 28 June.

Her passengers included Queenent Amenaghawon Olige-esezobor, 42, Patience Iteire-Jeeti, 38, and her daughter Jessica.

All four were killed instantly when their car crossed the Dublin to Sligo N4 road at Portnashangan, near Mullingar, in the early hours of the morning and struck another vehicle.

At an inquest into the deaths this afternoon in Mullingar, Garda William Walsh, a PSV inspector, said he examined both vehicles after the collision and found the car driven by Ms Akenbor to be unroadworthy.

He said a ball joint on the front wheel was loose and should have been removed and replaced.

He said this would have shown up on any substantial check on the car and he said the defect had been there for some time in his opinion.

Garda James Grogan investigated the collision and said he discovered the car driven by Ms Akenbor had failed an NCT test on 21 February, 2014.

Listed among the defects in that NCT report were a loose ball joint, a broken stop lamp and a leaking rear suspension.

He said the NCT report on 21 February specifically said that the front suspension ball joint was worn.

He said the car had been retested on 18 March and passed by the NCT centre.

The jury returned verdicts of accidental deaths.