Laois mum hits out at politicians and publicans over tough drink driving laws planned by Minister Shane Ross

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Email:

lynda.kiernan@leinsterexpress.ie

Road Safety Ambassador Award for Treacy family from Portarlington

Ronan & Gillian Treacy with a picture of their late son Ciarán.

Opposition to anti-drink driving laws planned by Minister Shane Ross'an insult' says the Laois mum Gillian Treacy

The Laois mother of a child who was killed by a drink driver has hit at the 'shameful' opposition of politicians and publicans to tough new drink driving laws.

Portarlington mother Gillian Treacy walked with difficulty to the stage of the Road Safety Authority's conference, to deliver a powerful speech urging support of tougher drink driving laws, as proposed by Minister for Transport Shane Ross.

Her son was killed by a drunk driver while she suffered life changing injuries which still impact on her life.

"I'm disillusioned by the campaign mounted by the vintners to undermine the Minister's efforts to saves lives. Equally shameful is the reluctance of some of our political representatives who on one hand say they don't endorse drink driving, and yet refuse to support the measures the Minister is making to protect people's lives, people like me, and people living in rural Ireland, from drink drivers," she said.

"I'd go as far as to say the opposition to this bill is an insult to my family and the memory of Ciarán," Mrs Treacy said, urging politicians to "please stop putting narrow vested interests ahead of people's lives".

With her husband Ronan, they took the brave move to share their pain of losing four year old Ciarán, in an emotional campaign by the RSA across television and radio.

"I want to thank the public for their kind words of support, since we stepped into the public spotlight to share our story, and also those people who have changed their attitude towards drink driving since hearing about Ciarán," she said.

"While everyone has seen how drink driving has changed our lives, what the view can never experience is the void it leaves. The pain never goes away. I don't want any other family in this country to live the nightmare we are living every day," Mrs Treacy said.

When starting her speech, she had said "I should be driving home right now after dropping my three children to school. I wish I wasn't standing here this morning talking to you".

Mrs Treacy suffered serious injuries in the crash in 2014 that killed her son. She was helped down off the stage after her speech. The drunk driver who crashed into her car, Finbarr O'Rourke from Portlaoise, is currently serving a prison sentence for the crime.

The video is courtesy of the Irish Road Victims Association.