The number of incidents involving vehicles hitting level-crossing barriers has nearly doubled so far this year, according to Iarnród Éireann.

It is calling for greater vigilance, and described the increase as extremely worrying.

According to the company, there were 51 incidents at level crossings across the network so far this year - an increase of 82% on the same period in 2018.

The majority involved closing barriers being struck by vehicles which continued on.

Dublin's Sutton station barrier has been struck ten times already this year.

The company says other Dublin crossings at Serpentine Avenue, Sydney Parade and Lansdowne Road have also been regularly hit.

Iarnród Éireann says all those crossings are equipped with licence plate recognition systems to assist in the prosecution of offenders.