Relatives of Donegal crash victims face 18-month wait for counselling

THE heartbroken families of the eight men killed in the horrific Donegal road smash may have to wait for up to 18 months to get bereavement counselling.

It has emerged that Co Donegal has just one bereavement counsellor to assist people cope with the death of a loved one.

A local voluntary group has said that the people of Inishowen need at least five such counsellors to help them deal with their loss.

Denise Gallinagh Wood of Buncrana Community Combating Suicide (BCCS) said she has no doubt there will be a ripple affect from the July 11 crash.

“The bottom line is that we simply do not have the resources to deal with the fall-out from such a huge loss of life.

“It would be ideal that we had the presence of five key workers to hook in with these families and to help them.

“It is not within the capacity of the HSE to have even one counsellor for even one day a week in the Inishowen region. It just doesn’t have the resources.

“It’s vital that there is a support, not just for the families, but for the wider community. There will be a ripple affect for people who have been bereaved before this.

“There is such a big need for counselling and for support especially at this time,” she said.

In the aftermath of the crash, the HSE contacted the BCCS to help them cope with the trauma.

The BCCS responded by distributing leaflets in shops and bars offering a listening service for those affected.

Meanwhile, the head of the Garda Traffic Corps in Donegal has slammed the attitude to road safety in his county.

Inspector Michael Harrison said he is disappointed about how people treat the dangers of driving.

“Donegal is responsible for 15% of the road deaths in this country so far this year and we have to wake up and smell the coffee with regards to road safety. We are going to have to completely and utterly change our attitude towards road safety,” he said.


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