Road safety campaign focuses on devastation caused by drink-drivers

“My body was completely broken, but I didn’t realise I would never see him again.” These are the words of Gillian Treacy, mother of four-year-old Ciarán who was killed in a head-on collision with a drunk driver in April, 2014.

Gillian’s story and that of her husband Ronan, the Emergency Services who attended the collision and the medical team who fought to save Ciarán’s life are featured in the latest ‘Crashed Lives’ ad campaign from the Road Safety Authority (RSA ) and An Garda Síochána. It was launched on Thursday, December 1, as part of the RSA and An Garda Síochána Annual Christmas and New Year Road Safety Campaign.

Ciarán Treacy was just four years old when the car he was travelling in with his mother Gillian and brother Seán was hit by a drunk driver. Ciarán died as a result of the collision while Gillian was left with devastating injuries. The ad features home videos of Ciarán playing with his brother and sister in the garden and laughing and smiling in the car, a picture of happiness and innocence.

We hear the stories from Ciarán’s parents Gillian and Ronan, Sergeant Dave Lynam, and paramedic Christy Kelly who attended the collision, and nurses Patrice O’Connell and Mary Joyce who fought to save Ciarán’s life. The message behind the ‘Crashed Lives’ campaign is that drink-driving destroys lives, families, and communities.

As the festive season approaches, the RSA and An Garda Síochána have issued a stark warning to road-users about the consequences of drink-driving. Earlier this year, the RSA’s Pre-Crash Report on Alcohol, which examined Garda forensic investigation files into fatal crashes between 2008 and 2012, showed that alcohol was a factor in 38 per cent of all fatal collisions (driver, passenger, pedestrian, motorcyclist, and cyclist ), claiming the lives of 286 people.

Speaking before the launch, Gillian Treacy said: “Thursday, April 17, 2014, was the day our lives were shattered because of drink-driving. As a mother, your instinct is to protect your children from any harm that might come their way but I wasn’t able to do this for Ciarán. Because someone decided to drink and drive that day, and his actions led to the death of my little boy. Our lives will never be the same again. I beg anyone who would think of drinking and driving to think of my little boy, and to think of the devastated family and community still mourning his loss.”

An Garda Síochána will be increasing the number of mandatory alcohol testing checkpoints around the country over the next six weeks on a 24/7 basis.

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