'Christmas will just never be the same' - mum of tragic Dayne Cody (15)
Dayne was killed in a horror crash two years ago - and was buried on Christmas Eve
Published 18/11/2016 | 11:43
A heartbroken mother has said Christmas will never be the same again after losing her teenage son to a December road crash.
Paula Cody (33), from Ballyfermot, yesterday attended the launch of the 2016 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims at Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin, with her family, including her mother, Rita Donoghue (55).
She told how she would have to leave Dublin this Christmas, as she just couldn’t face being home without her beloved son.
Paula’s eldest child, Dayne (15, right), was killed in a horror crash in Clondalkin in December 2014. He was buried on Christmas Eve.
Dayne was a passenger in a car, which was bought by his 15-year-old friend on the internet for €400, when he died.
The friend was sentenced to 16 months in jail but Paula said he has since been released and she struggles seeing him.
“I have to see him in our neighbourhood and he’s never shown remorse,” she said.
“We’ve been left heartbroken over a child losing his life over bad road conditions and a careless road driver.”
“Dayne was a great kid, he was in transition year. He was my first-born and as the eldest he looked after his younger siblings. He had to be in at 10pm at night.
“It’s still very raw, especially coming up to the festive period. Christmas will never be the same. I will never have another Christmas without Dayne.
“I have four young girls and I am in misery crying. My kids are brought up that way now looking at me. I’ll never get over it, he was my baby and I was only 16 when I had him.
“Even for his sisters growing up, it’s so hard without him because all you’re left with is memories when they’re taken so instantly.
“We were talking to him 15 minutes before it happened. Every time we see him [the driver] it is a constant reminder.
“I wake up in the morning and Dayne is the first thing on my mind and the last before I go to sleep. We are going away to Lanzarote this Christmas because it’s too hard here, seeing his friends.
“I am hoping if we take ourselves away from Dublin, where it happened, then it can be more of a Christmas for the other children.
“But I’ll never get over losing Dayne. Being away I won’t have to look at his friends’ faces, or go to visit his grave at Christmas, but no matter where I am, Dayne will be in my heart.”
The mother said she wants to see a law that means only those with ID proving their age can buy a car and that all vehicles are NCT-approved before sale.
She spoke at yesterday’s event, which was organised by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and featured performances by Christy Moore.
The musical legend sang a number of emotional folk songs but one stood out in particular because a mother had asked the singer to pen it to ease her pain. Oh Lovely Young One was a short but meaningful song that brought some to tears.
Moore told the crowd: “I was asked to write a song by a woman 15 years ago who lost her daughter on the roads.”
The 71-year-old, who has been performing for five decades, also sang Ride On, with some families joining in.
“I want to thank the Road Safety Authority for the work they have been doing and the effect they have had on the statistics. The legislators have a part to play to give the muscle on what needs to be done [on the country’s roads],” he said.
“I don’t know how many people [drivers] were on their mobiles this morning, especially at traffic lights. I am amazed by drivers texting. I feel legislation’s needed to deal with that.”
RSA chair Liz O’Donnell said there had been 165 road deaths in 2016, an increase of 52 on last year.
“We are very concerned about this,” she said.
The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims takes place on Sunday.