Westmeath is to play its part in the World Day of Remembrance for road traffic victims with a candlelight vigil and tree planting ceremony at Belvedere House, just outside Mullingar at 4pm on Sunday, November 18.
The day which sees international organisations such as the UN and the World Health Organization along with national organisations such as the Road Safety Authority remember all who have lost their lives tragically in road traffic collisions, occurs each year on the third Sunday of November.
This year, a new NGO, the Irish Road Victims Association (IRVA ), will be holding a special ceremony to remember all of those who have sadly lost their lives on our roads and in support of their bereaved families, the injured, and the emergency services, in these beautiful gardens in Mullingar.
“Since 1959, 23,227 people have been killed on our roads, more than the population of the town of Athlone,” said Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar.
“World Remembrance Day for road traffic victims only takes place once a year but anyone who has lost a loved one on the roads will know that you live with your memories and grief every day of the year. On Sunday I would ask people around the country to take a few moments to remember those who have died on our roads, the families and friends that are left behind and the people who continue to need lifelong support for serious injuries, and also the emergency services who deal with the aftermath of these collisions,” said Ms Donna Price, chairperson of Irish Road Victims Association, whose son Darren was killed in March 2006 whilst driving from Mullingar to Athlone Institute of Technology, where he was studying engineering.
Those attending the ceremonies in Belvedere are invited to take a photograph of their loved ones along to the ceremony and to float a flower on the lake afterwards in their memory.
The ceremony will end with the release of balloons and lanterns into the air to remember all who have lost their lives and as a sign of hope for improved safety on our roads in the future.
For more information on the work of the IRVA or for the World Day of Remembrance log on to www.irva.ie or www.worlddayofremembrance.org or contact Donna Price chairperson of IRVA on 086 8634194 or Noel O’Callaghan vice-chairperson on (086 )3581634 or email [email protected]
A full list of events is available on the RSA website, www.rsa.ie