Gardai tell of crash devastation after seven people die on roads
A senior garda has urged road users to "take stock and reflect" on the tragic deaths of seven people on our roads in just 36 hours.
Chief Superintendent Mark Curran, from the Garda National Traffic Bureau, spoke out after a weekend of carnage.
Three young students died in one crash in Co Down, while two others died in separate crashes in Co Donegal, on Sunday.
A rising GAA star was killed in another crash in Co Mayo on Sunday night and a 41-year-old motorcyclist died in a collision in Co Cork.
Superintendent Curran said the families of each of the victims had been left devastated and distraught and said motorists needed to reflect on the weekend's deaths.
"To lose a loved one in a road crash is devastating.
"Although 2015 has had fewer road deaths than at this date in 2014, weekends like the one just gone serve as a very stark reminder that the roads can be a very dangerous place," he said.
"One small mistake can lead to tragic consequences for all, especially those that are left behind.
"We all need to put 100pc concentration into what we do, no matter how we use the roads.
"I would urge every road user to take stock of what happened over the past few days, realise no one is invincible and always take personal responsibility for what we do, every time."
Moyagh Murdock, CEO of the Road Safety Authority, expressed her condolences to the families of the seven victims.
"It's dreadful to say that on a good week in Ireland you might see three people lose their lives. On a bad week, like the one we've seen, you could lose up to seven people on our roads," she said.
The accidents occurred during what was considered a good year for road safety, with Irish road deaths reduced by nearly a fifth in 2015.
Ms Murdock said poor weather conditions appeared to be "a contributory factor" in some of last weekend's accidents, but stressed that road users "can't become complacent".
"It's even more than a message to be vigilant. It is people needing to take responsibility and not take chances," she said.
Ms Murdock welcomed the 19pc reduction in road deaths this year, but said that one weekend "can very much change that trend".
"So far this month we have seen 14 people lose their lives, compared to 15 in the whole of August last year."