The Chief Executive of the Road Safety Authority has said Ireland has "a real problem" when it comes to road crashes at weekends.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Moyagh Murdock said the number of serious and fatal collisions at weekends is "disproportionate" and needs to be dealt with.

It comes as seven people died in road crashes over the weekend, including a 16-year-old girl and a woman in her 80s.

The incidents happened in counties Cavan, Louth, Monaghan and Galway, bringing to 29 the number of people killed on the roads so far this year.

"Roads are quieter at weekends, but in Ireland we seem to have a real problem", Ms Murdock said. "It really is a problem that we need to deal with."

She said there has been a "very safe period" over the last three or four years with the number of road deaths decreasing.

"It's a long time since we've had a weekend as bad as this", Ms Murdock added. "It's dreadful to see any deaths occur but we have seen the monthly tally reduced to 12 and we had been trying to bring that down to ten a month. But as you can see, in the blink of an eye, that just overturned completely."

A number of people were also seriously injured during this weekend's road crashes, which Ms Murdock said can have "devastating consequences".

"They have to pick up the pieces and try and rebuild their lives and that isn't always possible."

She said speed is still the leading cause of road crashes and called on road users to "be vigilant, make wise decisions and look out for each other".