'Horrific death toll' – Gardaí and road safety chiefs react to dark week on Irish roads

Senior Gardaí and the Road Safety Authority have acknowledged the “horrific death toll” on Irish roads, with 10 people losing their lives in the past week.

Four deaths in a single-vehicle collision in Co Donegal came on top of a particularly devastating period on the roads.

Chief Superintendent Finbarr Murphy, Garda National Roads Policing Bureau said, “An Garda Síochána is deeply saddened by the horrific death toll on Irish road over the past week.

“I want to take this opportunity to send our condolences to all of those affected by these tragic events. An Garda Síochána views any road death as one to many and we will continue to work together with our partners in road safety to build on the reduction in road deaths evidenced over the past number of years.  

“While we welcome the reduction of fatalities that we have witnessed over the past two years, events over the past week demonstrate that we cannot afford to be complacent in any manner and I appeal to all roads users to be extra vigilant – in particular on dark evenings and while using unlit or poorly lit roads. 

“Be safe, be seen, be careful and be on the alert for other road users.”

Chief Supt Murphy pointed out that it is not appropriate to comment at this time on recent fatal crashes, as they are subject to forensic collision investigations.

  They include a man in his eighties who lost his life in a single vehicle collision near Coolcullen in Co Kilkenny at the weekend.

On Friday, Joseph and Louise Waller, who were both in their 70s, were killed in a single car crash near the Monaghan and Armagh border at Killyneill Cross.

Their car left the road and ended up in a bog. It is believed their car had become submerged in water.

On Thursday, a pedestrian in his 40s died after he was struck by a 4×4 vehicle on the Dublin Road, Monasterevin, Co Kildare.

Earlier that day, Dublin woman Jackie Griffin was killed in a collision on the M50.

And after 9am on the same day, a passenger in her 80s died after the car she was travelling in was involved in a collision in Loughrea, Co Galway.

On Sunday last weekt, a 60-year-old man was involved in a collision with a truck in Dungarvan, Co Waterford.

Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive of the Road Safety Authority said: “We have had a dreadful week on our roads. Ten lives lost, four alone in a single collision in Co. Donegal.

“Our deepest sympathies are not only with the families of the bereaved who have lost their loved ones over the weekend but indeed with all the families of victims of road crashes so far this year.

  “While it is understandable that people will want answers following such tragedy, it is important that we allow the Gardaí conduct their investigations and not rush to judgement.

 “In the meantime, I hope that this appalling loss of life will serve as a reminder to us all that life is fragile and using the roads is the most dangerous thing we do each day. Nobody ever believes it will happen to them but tragedy can strike anywhere at any time on the road. We need to remember this every time we set out on a journey.”

She appealed for drivers to slow down and watch out for vulnerable road users, and reminded motorists that there was a risk of icy roads as well as sleet and snow later this week.

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