herald

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Parents of tragic Jake (6) camp outside Leinster House in fight to lower speed limits

Parents of tragic six-year-old Jake Brennan, Chris Brennan and Roseann Brennan outside the Dail
Parents of tragic six-year-old Jake Brennan, Chris Brennan and Roseann Brennan outside the Dail

THE heartbroken mother of little Jake Brennan (6), who was killed while playing outside his home last summer, is spending three nights outside Leinster House to get politicians to change the speed limits in housing estates.

Roseann Brennan (30) said life will "never go back to normal" after her beloved son died in her arms.

Jake had been playing near the family home in Lintown Grove, Kilkenny, on June 12 last and she had asked him to come inside to get changed for a play that he was taking part in that evening.

play

But Jake had asked for just a few more minutes play time and she agreed.

A short time later, he was struck by a car and just moments before his death said "sorry mammy" and told Roseann that he "didn't want to die".

The grieving mother said it was five months before she was able to get into a car following the accident.

She spoke of the grief her family is still enduring, revealing that it is very difficult to wake up each morning without Jake and to have to be "happy and bubbly" because she is still the mother of two children who need her.

She said she feels guilt when she puts her younger son Kaelem (3) into the bath "because there is just one child and not two".

"And if I smile, I worry if anyone saw me smiling because I think 'maybe they'll think that I have gotten over it' but I haven't gotten over it," she said.

Meanwhile Kaelem, who witnessed his brother's accident, is still undergoing counselling because of the trauma.

Roseann is now urging the Government to introduce 'Jake's Law' to bring in a lower speed limit in housing estates throughout the country.

Roseann, together with 11 supporters, will be camping outside the Dail for a total of three nights and four days to fight to reduce the limit from 50kph to 20kph.

Road Safety Authority figures show that half of people will die if struck by a car driving at 50kph, dropping to one in 10 at the lower limit.

The campaign, "20 is plenty", is supported by Mary Lou MacDonald of Sinn Fein, who came out in support yesterday and told of the devastation in her own community of Cabra in Dublin following the deaths of two young boys on the roads in 2007 and 2011.

Campaigner Rita Malone of Clonlara, Co Clare, whose son Oran (8) was seriously injured in an accident last September, said her son still suffers night terrors and is terrified of cars.

"He was knocked down outside the childminder's house. I ran and all I could think of was Roseann because she had been on the Ray D'Arcy show two weeks earlier talking about Jake," she revealed.

"We're very lucky to have Oran but why should I walk away," she said, adding that if the campaign saved one child it will have been worth it.

hnews@herald.ie

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