Donegal road deaths discussed in series

Donegal road deaths discussed in series
By Michelle NicPhá

The issue of road deaths in Donegal and how to prevent them took centre stage during a TG4 series which was broadcast this week.

The A&E consultant at Letterkenny University Hospital, Gerry Lane said that in order to prevent further carnage on our roads, we need to take personal responsibility for our actions whilst driving.

He added that whilst he understood that garda resources were limited, through no fault of their own, more gardaí on the roads would help the situation.

On Tuesday night, TG4's 7Lá focused on road deaths in Donegal as part of their national coverage during Irish Road Safety Week.

Sergeant John Joe McClafferty described arriving at the scene of a road accident.

He said that once gardaí receive a call they quickly make their way to the scene.

“If we hear screaming, at least we know that someone is alive, if there is no noise, we hope that the person is unconscious.”

He also described how difficult it is to have to relay the news, of a loved one being killed on our roads, to a family.

“We have to try and be the first there to tell the family. We really don't want them to hear the news from anyone else.

“Everyone reacts differently, some people want every minute detail, other people go into denial,” he said.

The well known garda said that on occasions, such as these, gardaí themselves feel the enormity of the emotion and return home to a sleepless night.

The Derrybeg based garda said that gardaí can only do their best in policing the roads.

“As much as we would like to be, we cannot be everywhere,” he said.

A boy racer, who wished not to be named, spoke of the adrenaline rush that young men get when they sit behind the wheel.

The young man said that many young men aged between 15 and 25 club together and buy a car worth around €200.

“We don't care if we crash it, they are what we call 'hedge beaters',” he said.

He said that few people can understand the feeling that young men get when they are driving behind the wheel.

“Most people can't understand that feeling,” he said.