The two men who died when a light aircraft crashed in a field in Co Kildare have been named locally.

70-year-old James Price and Aidan Rowsome, who was in his 50s, lost their lives in the incident on Thursday evening.

The men were travelling in a BRM NG5 - a two-seater aircraft.

Gardaí were alerted at 1am on Friday morning after the plane failed to return to its base in Kilrush, Co Kildare.

Air traffic controllers identified a brief position of an aircraft in the Belan area, near Athy. This location was recorded at 7.20pm on Thursday evening.

A ground search was carried out, as well as air searches by the Garda Air Support Unit and the Irish Coast Gurd helicopter, Rescue 116.

The wreckage of the aircraft was found in a field at Belan at around 4.30am yesterday.

The Air Accident Investigation Unit is carrying out an investigation of the scene.

The wreckage of the aircraft has been taken to the AAIU base at Gormanston, Co Meath, for further examination.