Two days ago, Roseann Brennan felt assailed by grief. It’s just six weeks since the death of her six- year-old son, Jake.
But within 24 hours, she had summoned up the strength to meet the Taoiseach to demand an improvement in road safety in the country’s housing estates. “I spend the day fighting images of what happened to Jake, of what he experienced. Earlier in the week, I was sick with high blood pressure, lying in bed. I just kept on expecting his little head to pop around the door. It’s horrible”.
“But then I am overcome by the need to ensure that this doesn’t happen to somebody else and so I pick myself up and get on the phone or go out the door to meet the Taoiseach,” she said. Six-year-old Jake died after being hit by a car while playing outside his home in Lintown Grove on June 12. His parents, together with family, friends and neighbours have begun a campaign to make Ireland’s housing estates safer.
The campaign was officially launched this week in Kilkenny City. They want speed bumps to be mandatory in new estates; maximum 30 kmph speed limits in estates, and new educational road safety campaigns aimed at adults.
“The Taoiseach listened to what I had to say and said he will arrange meetings with the Ministers for Transport and the Minister for the Environment, but he also told me he can’t force the local authorities to set the by-laws that we are seeking”. Roseann is hoping that a councillor in each of the country’s local authorities will put a ‘Jake Brennan motion’ forward when it comes to deciding annual budgets in October.
“We are told that some people will fight having speed bumps in their parks. But I have to say to them: ‘would you rather watch a six-year-old die like my neighbours did?’”
Jake was thrown into the air by a car yards from her house at Lintown Grove. Jake was Chris and Roseann Brennan’s eldest child — a brother to Kaelem, three; and two-month-old Savannah. Roseann is urging as many people as possible to sign the online petition at www.facebook.com/ jakeslegacy
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