A number of people have escaped injury following an incident involving five vehicles on the M18 motorway in Co Galway.
The alarm was raised at around 10.15am when emergency services were alerted to a multi-vehicle collision on the M18 motorway between junctions 17 and 18. The north and south-bound carriageways were affected between Kilcolgan and the M6 interchanged.
Initial emergency calls reported that there had been collision involving a lorry and as many as seven other vehicles. A major multi-agency response was promptly mounted.
Units of the fire brigade from Athenry and Gort responded to the incident along with ambulances from Galway and Clare and several garda units. Senior fire and ambulance service officers also attended.
The Emergency Aeromedical Service (EAS) air ambulance, based in Athlone, was also mobilised to the scene.
On arrival, emergency services established there was no truck involved but that four cars and lost control with some colliding with safety barriers. The incident happened following a recent downpour of hail.
Ambulance paramedics assessed the occupants of all the vehicles and established that no one had been injured. Once it was clear that no one had been seriously hurt, the air ambulance was stood down.
Motorway maintenance crews also attended the incident and worked to clear the road motorway of debris and oil. They also assessed damaged caused to crash barriers.
The northbound lanes were reopened about an hour after the collision with restrictions on southbound carriage were lifted a short time later.
Weather warnings remain in place in the area with motorway signs warning of hail showers.