There have been 31 incidents at level crossings so far this year, and Iarnród Éireann has urged road users to be vigilant in order to prevent the "significant disruption" caused by such incidents.

In a statement today, it said that the majority of the 60 cases last year involved level crossings being struck by vehicles which drove right through, even though barriers were lowering and warning lights were flashing.

Such incidents disrupt rail services and also place both the road user and railway users at serious risk, Iarnród Éireann said, with chief executive Jim Meade today describing the numbers as "still too high".

To mark International Level Crossing Awareness Day, it has also released footage of a number of recent incidents.

"Some of these incidents have been particularly worrying and have been widely shared on social media," the company said.

There are currently 948 level crossings across the entire rail network.

These are a combination of automated CCTV crossings, manned crossing and unmanned user-operated accommodation crossings.

Work has been ongoing to eliminate as many level crossings "as is practicable", with 77 crossings closed between 2014 and 2021.

A railway order - in effect, an application for planning permission - has been lodged with An Bord Pleanála to eliminate seven more crossings on the Cork mainline.

Iarnród Éireann said it continues to install additional train detection warning systems at user-operated level crossings around the country. Eight have been introduced so far, and a further ten have been commissioned in the coming weeks.

Despite this, the company has said the onus is on road users to use the crossings responsibly.

It has urged people to never go through crossings when barriers are about to lower, or are lowering. It also said that a person should stop immediately if a gatekeeper requests it.

At user-operated crossings, people are urged to always stop before crossing to check the line, check the line again after crossing and to always close the gate after use.

There have been no fatalities at Irish level crossings since 2010, but there are almost 300 deaths in such instances each year across Europe.

Mr Meade added: "In recent months, we have had a number of very worrying incidents at level crossings and we would appeal to all road users to obey the rules of the roads at level crossings. They are for everyone's safety."