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Almost 24,000 people have died on our roads since records began

There are a number of events happening throughout the country today to remember the victims of road traffic accidents.

Michael O'Neill lost his daughter Fiona (21) and her boyfriend Dominic Wogan (23) in a road traffic collision in 2001. Pic: RSA/Marc O'Sullivan
Michael O'Neill lost his daughter Fiona (21) and her boyfriend Dominic Wogan (23) in a road traffic collision in 2001. Pic: RSA/Marc O'Sullivan
Image: Marc O'Sullivan

MORE THAN 23,600 PEOPLE have died on Irish roads since records began in 1959.

That’s about the same amount of people living in Tralee, County Kerry.

A further 76,586 people received serious, life-changing injuries from 1977 to 2013.

So far this year, almost 170 families, friends and communities have lost a loved one.

Today, Ireland is one of several countries marking World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims. A number of events will take place to remember those who lost their lives on Irish roads.

The Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims was first held in 1993 in the UK and has been organised by non-governmental organisations in a number of countries since then.

On 26 October 2005, the United Nations adopted a resolution that called for governments to mark the third Sunday in November each year as World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.

Over 26,000 people die on Europe’s roads annually, down from 75,977 deaths in 1990.

Speaking at the launch of Ireland’s Day of Remembrance this week, Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe said that today would provide an opportunity for us to remember people who have died on our roads, as well as to consider “the other preventable tragedies that will happen before the end of the year”.

He urged people to “take a moment to think about the changes we all can make to keep our roads free from carnage, and to make sure that fewer families are grieving for their loved ones this Christmas”.

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Acting Garda Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan, said that the day of Remembrance “reminds us how quickly and easily tragedy can happen on our roads”.

Every time you sit behind the wheel, get on your bicycle or motorbike, or head out for a walk, consider what you can do to improve your safety on the roads and the safety of everyone around you.

The following events will mark ‘World Day of Remembrance’ around Ireland:

  • Cork: A mass will take place in Cork City in the Cathedral of St Mary and St Anne, Roman Street, at 11.30am. It will be attended by personnel from the emergency services.
  • Donegal: A special memorial service will take place in St Eunan’s Cathedral, Letterkenny, Co.Donegal at 12 noon. In Ballyshannon, a special mass for road victims and blessing of cars will take place in St Patrick’s Church at 11am.
  • Dublin: A service is being held in Clarendon Street Church Dublin (just off Grafton St) at 12:30pm to remember road victims.
  • Galway: A memorial mass is taking place in Galway Cathedral at 3pm.
  • Kerry: A memorial mass is taking place in St Mary’s Cathedral Killarney at 12pm.
  • Kilkenny: A memorial mass is taking place in St Mary’s Cathedral at 11am.
  • Louth: A memorial mass is taking place in the Augustinian Church in Drogheda at 1.15pm.
  • Mayo: A service will take place in Castlebar Church at 12 noon and will be attended by members of the emergency services.
  • Sligo: The PARC Road Safety Group will hold their sixth annual remembrance event for road victims in the Sligo Southern Hotel, Strandhill Road from 2-4pm.
  • Westmeath: The Irish Road Victims’ Association (IRVA) will hold a special ceremony in Bloomfield House Hotel, Mullingar at 2pm.

More information about World Day of Remembrance is available on the Road Safety Authority’s website.

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About the author:

Órla Ryan

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