Officially recorded road deaths equates to population of Portlaoise

Road Safety Authority reveals that 24,000 were killed on Irish roads in the past 60 years

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

The equivalent of the population of Portlaoise has been killed on Irish roads while the number seriously injured equates to almost the entire population of Laois.

24,103 people killed and 79,761 seriously injured on Irish roads since recording began.

These shocking statistics will be remembered this Sunday, 19 November on ‘World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims’. Commemorations take place globally to remember those injured or killed in road traffic collisions.

24,103 people have died since the recording of fatalities began in 1959 and 79,761 people have been seriously injured on Irish roads since the recording of serious injuries began in 1977 (up to 16 November 2017). To date in 2017 a total of 133 families, friends and communities have lost a loved one.

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World Day of Remembrance provides an opportunity to draw the public’s attention to the impact of road crashes and the human cost involved. The day is a reminder of the effect on the family of a person killed or injured on our roads, as well as on the emergency services who face the consequences of crashes on a daily basis.

This year the Road Safety Authority joins forces with members of An Garda Síochána, Local County Councils, Emergency Services and victim support groups to mark the day and remember those who have died on our roads at services which will be held across the country. 

Mr. Shane Ross TD, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, said: “World Day of Remembrance comes at a time when our campaign against road deaths is showing modest sign of success. Yet there is no room for complacency, we need to continue to focus our efforts on reducing fatalities and serious injuries, working with everyone responsible for the implementation of the Government’s Road Safety Strategy.  I want to recognise the bravery of the advocacy and victims groups who have led the fight for road safety. It has been an honour to work alongside in our joint pursuit of this goal.”

Moyagh Murdock, CEO of the Road Safety Authority said: “This is the 11th year that we have commemorated World Day of Remembrance in Ireland. It is a day of reflection for all of those impacted by road traffic collisions. It gives us an opportunity to remember those who have died on our roads, lives cut short too soon. It is also an opportunity to remember those who have been seriously injured on our roads, who are left dealing with often very traumatic physical difficulties, whose lives have been permanently altered. And behind every life lost or serious injury, there are families, friends and communities who have been left devastated. We hear often about the numbers killed or hurt on our roads, but these people are more than statistics, they are fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, they are friends, colleagues and part of our communities. And we cannot forget that.”

Chief Superintendent Finbarr Murphy, National Roads Policing Unit, An Garda Síochána, said: “World Day of Remembrance is a time when each one of us can look at our own behaviour on the roads and how that impacts on the safety of other road users. While we are remembering those lost, we can make a positive commitment to ensuring that other families don’t suffer the same grief by thinking each and every day about road safety. Wearing a seat-belt, putting mobile phones away while driving, ensuring we can be seen when out walking or cycling, are all things we should be doing each and every day.”

World Day of Remembrance was first held in 1993 in the United Kingdom and organised since then by non-governmental organizations in a number of countries.

In addition, the RSA  have a Facebook event page for World Day of Remembrance Day where people are invited to come and leave tributes and memorial messages for their loved ones who have died or who were injured on our roads.

The following activities will mark ‘World Day of Remembrance’ around Ireland:

Cavan / Monaghan

Martina Crudden is organising a 'Remembrance Event' for road traffic victims and their families in conjunction with An Garda Síochána, Monaghan County Council and the RSA.  This special memorial event will take place on Sunday 19th November from 2pm to 4pm in the picturesque surrounds of Castle Saunderson, Belturbet, Co Cavan. Situated just off the main N54 / A3 Clones to Cavan road, close to the Cavan, Monaghan, Fermanagh border. There will be prayers, poems, music by 'Tully', special guests and light refreshments.  There will be face painting and bouncy castles for the children and all your family members are invited. Martina is currently gathering photographs of traffic victims who have died to put onto a 'commemorative scroll'. If you would like your loved ones to be included on this scroll which will be unveiled on the day, please send a photograph as soon as possible to martinacrudden77@yahoo.ie.


Clare

A special memorial mass is taking place in the St. Josephs Church, Ennis, Co. Clare at 11:30am on Sunday 19 November. All are welcome.
Cork

A Special Memorial Mass for World Day of Remembrance is taking place in Cathedral of St Mary and St Anne, Roman Street (Shandon), Cork City at 11.30am. It will be attended by personnel from the emergency services.


Donegal

A special memorial mass to remember those who have died or were seriously injured on our roads will be held in St. Patrick's Church, Ballyshannon. Co. Donegal at 6.15 pm on Saturday 18th November. A candle will be lit and brought to the Altar for each victim, if you would like to have a candle lit for a relative or friend please give their name to any of the priests or to the Parish Office  071 98 51295. We also pray for families, friends and communities who continue to live with this grief every day.
Dublin

A Special Memorial Mass for World Day of Remembrance is taking place in St. Michans Church, Halston Street, Dublin 7 at 11.00 am Sunday 19th November.  A candle lighting service will take place to remember all those who have tragically lost their lives on our roads.  On the day, family members will also be invited to bring along a photo of their loved one and to place the name of their loved one the Jesse Tree of Remembrance. All are welcome to attend. If you would like to participate in this service, please phone Orlaith on 087 9775710 or email omaguire@rsa.ie before Friday 10th November.
Galway

A special commemoration to remember all road traffic victims will take place in the Clayton Hotel, Galway at 2pm on Sunday the 19th of November. As part of the ceremony you are invited to bring a framed photograph of your lost loved one.  Please rsvp by contacting Catherine by email cflaherty@rsa.ie  or by phone 087-2027034.
Kerry

A special mass for road victims will take place at 9am in St Mary’s Church, Listowel. All are welcome.
A special memorial mass is taking place in St. Mary’s Cathedral, New Street, Killarney at 12pm mid-day.
Limerick

There is a Memorial Mass for Road Traffic Victims being held in Limerick City this Sunday November 19th at St. Munchin's Church, Clancy Strand, Limerick at 11.30am.


Louth

A special memorial mass is taking place in the Augustinian Church, Drogheda, Co. Louth at 1:15pm on Sunday 19 November. All are welcome.
 Mayo

A service will take place in Knock Shrine at 12 noon to remember special loved one’s and to recognise the professional work performed by all the emergency services and hospital staff. Refreshments and a get together will take place after mass in St. John’s Rest and Care Centre.


Tipperary

On Sunday November 19, a special service of commemoration for road traffic victims will take place at the Augustinian Abbey, Fethard, Co Tipperary. All are welcome to join us on the occasion. The service takes place at 11.30am.
A special commemoration event for World day of Remembrance will  be held in the Davin Club, Carrick-on-Suir, Co.Tipperary at 3pm on the 19 of November. As part of the ceremony, everyone to bring a framed photo of their loved ones with them.
A special memorial service is taking place in the Garden Of Remembrance in Ballynonty, Thurles at 3pm on Sunday 19th November. All are welcome.


Waterford

A special commemoration to remember all road traffic victims will take place in the Tower Hotel, Waterford at 2pm. As part of the ceremony you are invited to bring a framed photograph of your lost loved one.  Please rsvp by contacting Eileen by email ecunningham@rsa.ie or by phone 087-9742016.


Westmeath

'The Irish Road Victims Association (IRVA) are hosting a memorial service for Road Traffic Victims in the Belvedere and Uisneach suites, Bloomfield House Hotel, Mullingar at 2pm. Musical performances by John Smith, John Maher, Vincent Hunt and the local youth orchestra, and lone piper Joe Gavin. During the ceremony white doves and balloons will be released by the lakeside by our bereaved families and members of the emergency services, and red roses floated on the lake in memory of all of the precious lives lost and broken on our roads.

They invite you to join them and to take a framed photo of your lost loved one with you. For families affected, for their free information guide and other support and contact information visit their website www.irva.ie  If you would like your lost loved one included on their Wall of Remembrance or 'Remember Me' scrolls, please email a photo, together with your contact information to: irva@eircom.net  Should you require any further information, please contact Donna Price @ 0868634194. Please see a poster for the event here.


*Recording of road fatalities began in 1959 while recording of serious injuries on our roads began in 1977. Figures shown in the press release for fatalities are the totals since 1959 while those for serious injuries are the totals since 1977.  
Figures for 2015 -2017 are provisional and subject to change. This figure has been taken from the RSA collision database on the 3rd November 2017.
133 people have died in fatal road crashes to date in 2017 this is a reduction of 33 deaths compared to the same date in 2016.