Today is World Day of Remembrance for Road Victims and across the country traffic victims are being remembered at many religious services across Donegal and elsewhere.
So far in Ireland this year, 130 people have died on the roads meaning that since records began in 1959, a total of 24,255 people have died on Irish roads.
In 2017, 158 people died in road traffic incidents. Despite close to one person dying every two days on the roads last year, 2017 was the safest year on Ireland’s roads since 1959.
To coincide with World Day of Remembrance for road traffic victims special prayers were said last night (Saturday) in St Patrick’s Church in Ballyshannon during Mass and candles were lit in memory of relatives or friends who have died in tragic circumstances on our roads, a candle was brought to the Altar for each victim.
Elsewhere in the county and nationwide, similar services were conducted and more will be conducted today.
Fr Cathal O Fearrai, PP of Kilbarron Parish, Ballyshannon said they had offered prayers for families, friends and communities who continue to live with this grief every day, and for those involved in the aftermath of a tragedy - Fire Services, gardaí, ambulance crew, clergy, medical personnel and counsellors.
He added: “Let us remind ourselves how precious life is and how vulnerable we all are each and every time we use the roads - as drivers or pedestrians - and ask ourselves: “What can I do to make sure that fewer families are grieving for their loved ones this Christmas?”
“We must be fully responsible for our actions; We must be visible on the roads at all times; We must be vigilant of other road users; Never ever drink / take drugs and drive; Never let anyone under the influence drive; Never use mobile phone when driving,” he said.
Meanwhile, Minister for Transport Shane Ross said it is “quite frankly unforgivable” to think it’s worth taking a risk and driving while over the legal alcohol limit. While the overall trends are going downwards, Ross said that the numbers killed on the roads is still unacceptable. “Year after year, the same messages go out,” he said. “And yet every year people are killed or maimed on our roads.”