Road Safety Authority ask drivers to slow down in run up to World Day of Remembrance

Lisa Marie Maher, from Ratoath, Co. Meath, pictured with her son Harry Foy aged 5 lighting a candle in rememberance of Harrys Grandfather and Lisa Marie’s father Eugene Maher

A total of 24,103 people killed and 79,761 seriously injured on Irish roads since recording began.

This Sunday, November 19 marks World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims when commemorations take place globally to remember those injured or killed in road traffic collisions.

Ahead of the global commemorations, the Road Safety Authority (RSA) held a special event for family members of those who were killed or seriously injured in road traffic collisions at Smock Alley Theatre in Dublin.

24,103 people have died since the recording of fatalities began in 1959 and 79,761 people have been seriously injured on Irish roads since the recording of serious injuries began in 1977 (up to November 16, 2017). To date in 2017 a total of 133 families, friends and communities have lost a loved one.

People gathered to remember the ones they have lost and to raise awareness in the hopes that they can prevent others going through the grief that they have experienced.

Michael O’Neill, who lost his 21-year-old daughter Fiona along with her boyfriend Dominic in 2001, was one of those who attended today’s event.

"My daughter and her boyfriend - about 150 yards from our home - were struck from behind. They were struck by a lorry which propelled them into another lorry and we lost them," he said.

"We get together on Sunday with people that’s of our own kind, that’s in a club that we don’t want to be in and we can console each other."

Leo Leeggio, who lost his 16-year-old daughter Marcia in a hit-and-run in 2005 explained the wide-ranging impact of road deaths.

"It’s more than just the person that dies, it’s the whole community is affected," Leo said.

"I never got to see Marcia go to her debs, I’ll never get to see the beautiful kids and the wonderful mother she would have been."

He went on to say that events like the World Day of Remembrance is important to remember that there are people behind the statistics.

Catherine Flaherty decided to work for the RSA after losing her sister Delia in a crash involving a drink driver.

She explained the impact the loss is still having on her family six years later, "Our parents still spend two hours at the grave - two hours in the morning, two hours in the evening. For me I lost a sister, I lost a best friend."

This year the RSA will be joining forces with members of An Garda Síochána, Local County Councils, Emergency Services and victim support groups to mark the day and remember those who have died on our roads at services which will be held across the country.

A full list of these events is available on the RSA website.

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