Report reckless drivers, pleads priest
Published 29/07/2010 | 05:00
A PRIEST in one of the parishes devastated by a horrific road crash has urged people to report reckless drivers to the gardai -- and act as witnesses in court if necessary.
Just three weeks after eight people died in a car crash in Donegal -- the most people killed in a single accident since records began -- Buncrana parish priest Fr John Walsh said people had to "stop glorifying cars" and making cult objects of "killing machines".
"We must not hesitate to give the vehicle numbers of all errant drivers to the guards and must be prepared to give evidence in court if required," he said.
Fr Walsh, who was present at the scene of the July 11 crash, made his comments to a crowd of several thousand at the annual blessing of the graves ceremony at Cockhill Cemetery, Co Donegal, where two of the eight victims are buried.
He added: "We must stop glorifying cars, stop having them as cult objects, objects of worship.
"We must teach our young people that vehicles -- quads or cars or 4x4s or lorries or whatever -- are useful conveyances that get you safely and conveniently from A to B, no more than that, and potentially lethal, killing machines."
He also urged the congregation to tell parents if they see young people "living recklessly".
He said: "All adult men and women must be prepared to go to parents and alert them if their daughter or son is living recklessly -- be it if they are driving hazardously or engaged in substance abuse or keeping un- savoury company or whatever.
"Such concerned intervention is a true act of neighbourliness, of friendship. And parents should accept the information and act upon it.
"They should never unjustifiably jump to the young one's defence, dismissing the information as coming from a busybody, slaying the messenger rather that accepting the message and acting upon it."
He said the horrific head-on crash at Glasmullen "had to be mentioned" at this year's grave-blessing ceremony.
"The best memorial we can give the people who died on July 11 is an end to the carnage on our roads here in Inishowen. Let's make sure that this memorial lasts, and that we're not facing more turmoil, more heartbreak, in the years ahead."
Meanwhile, Supt Kevin English said a significant number of witnesses had come forward to help in the investigation into the car crash.