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Dublin: 4 °C Thursday 9 April, 2020
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Sunday to mark day of remembrance for road collision victims

People are being encouraged to consider their behaviour as a mark of respect to those who have lost their lives on Irish roads.

Image: Candle via Shutterstock

THIS SUNDAY WILL see a day of remembrance being held for road collision victims across Ireland.

There are, sadly, 20 more families grieving this year than the same period last year as already 165 people have died due to incidents on our roads.

In total, 23,405 people have died on Irish roads to date, since records began in 1959, while a further 76,129 received serious, life-changing injuries over the period 1977 to 2012.

Mark of respect

To mark the remembrance day, the Road Safety Authority (RSA), local authorities, members of An Garda Síochána and the emergency services are joining forces to urge people to consider their behaviour on the roads as a mark of respect to those who have lost their lives.

A number of events will take place throughout the country to remember those who have died or been seriously injured on the roads, as well as their families and friends.

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar said:

Behind every tragedy lies a traumatised family and a shattered community. This Sunday gives everyone an opportunity to remember those who have been killed or injured on our roads, as well as the people left behind.

Gay Byrne, Chairman, Road Safety Authority said: “We can sometimes read reports of people dying or being injured on our roads and feel detached from them, a sense of ‘it will never happen to me’. But for thousands of families around the country, it has happened to them and now their lives are forever changed as a result.”

He added: “We can save lives on our roads, and we can make our roads as safe as the safest roads in the world, but we can’t do it unless we all work together and take responsibility for our behaviour on the roads.”

Assistant Commissioner John Twomey, An Garda Síochána, said that the gardaí are committed to continuing to make every effort to reduce deaths and injuries the roads. However, he said that if they have learned anything from the past few years, “it’s that we can’t let complacency seep into our behaviour on the roads”.

Activities around the country include:

  • Galway: PARC Road Safety Group will hold their annual Remembrance Day ceremony in the Menlo Park Hotel, Headford Road on Sunday at 2.30pm. Everyone is welcome. For further details, contact Susan Gray on 086 377 3784 or email susan@parcgroup.ie.
  • Louth: The Road Safety Officer in Louth has requested all religious groups in the county to read out a notice at their church service.
  • Mayo: A service will take place at Knock Shrine in Mayo at 12pm on Sunday to remember those who were injured or lost their lives in road collisions and to recognise the work carried out by the emergency services.
  • Westmeath: The Irish Road Victims’ Association, with the assistance of Westmeath County Council, will hold a special ceremony at the Memorial Garden for road traffic victims in Belvedere House, Gardens and Park, Mullingar at 2.30pm on Sunday. It will be a short multi-denominational ceremony. Those attending are requested to bring with them a photo of their lost loved one, which will be placed on the remembrance table. For more details, contact irva@eircom.net.
  • Cork: A mass will take place in Cork City in the Cathedral of St Mary and St Anne, Roman Street, (Shandon) at 11.30am on Sunday. It will be attended by personnel from the emergency services, road crash survivors and families of those who have lost loved ones on the road.

The RSA also has a ‘Wall of Remembrance’ on its Facebook page for people to share their memories and leave a memorial message for a person who has been killed or seriously injured on our roads.

A full list of the events taking place to mark ‘World Remembrance Day’ is available on www.rsa.ie.

Read: “The pain is forever”: Wall of Remembrance recalls road victims>

Read: Operation Slowdown detects 364 drivers speeding over 24-hour period>

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