With the August long weekend approaching, Bishop Fintan Monahan, Bishop of Killaloe, has joined with the Road Safety Authority, and An Garda Síochána, to call on road users to “Summer Safely” as the peak holiday season begins.
Last month, the June long weekend recorded eight people dying in road collisions.
Bishop Monahan said, “I am shocked and saddened to hear this week about the number of road deaths and accidents. This loss of life is devastating for the families and loved ones of the deceased and a tragedy for our society. While the highest number of monthly fatalities in ten years was recorded in August 2021 – with an alarming total of 22 deaths – this year already has seen a 42% increase in fatalities over the same period for 2021.
“So far this year there has been a serious surge in road traffic accidents with 95 people dying on our roads, as well as 673 people being seriously injured. Regardless of how each of us use our road network – pedestrian, cyclist, scooter, motorcycle or vehicle – we each have a responsibility to stop this rise in road traffic accidents. I am thinking here of the parable of the ‘Good Samaritan’ which encourages us to act responsibly and care for the stranger. Human life is sacred and, especially at this time of year, we need to be alert that there are higher traffic volumes which means a greater degree of danger when on the road.”
Bishop Monahan continued, “We should heed the advice of the professionals, the RSA and the Gardaí, namely, not to speed, don’t hold a mobile phone, always wear a seatbelt and to expect the unexpected when using the road network.
“I encourage parishes to pray for the lives we have lost on our roads, for their families and to encourage safe driving this August long weekend.”
Bishop Monahan will offer 10.00am Mass for the protection of all road users from the summit of Croagh Patrick this Reek Sunday in Co Mayo, and recommends these two prayers to guide people when on the road and their driving behaviour:
17th century paidir as Gaeilge
In ainm an Athar le bua,
In ainm an Mhic a d’fhulaing an phian,
In ainm an Spiorad Naoimh le neart,
Muire is a Mac linn inár dtriall. Áiméan!
A contemporary road safety prayer
Holy Mother, hear our prayer,
Keep us in your loving care,
Whatever the perils of the way,
Let us not add to them this day.
So to our caution and attention,
We add a prayer for your protection,
To beg God’s blessing on this car,
To travel safely near and far.