Saturday 1 October 2016

'The most horrific, harrowing time any person can go through' - Parents of young Ciaran Treacy (4) killed by drunk driver

Published 16/11/2015 | 23:14

Gillian and Ronan Treacy on RTE One's Claire Byrne Live (Photo: RTE One)
Gillian and Ronan Treacy on RTE One's Claire Byrne Live (Photo: RTE One)

The mother of a young boy who was killed by a drunk driver described the experience as the 'most horrific and harrowing time any person can go through'.

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Gillian and Ronan Treacy lost their son Ciaran (4) in a collision with drunk driver Finbarr O'Rourke in April 2014.

Speaking on RTE One's Claire Byrne Live, Gillian described the day of the crash.

"All of a sudden Ciarán went quiet, and as mother you know that silence is not right," she said.

A family picture of Ciaran Treacy
A family picture of Ciaran Treacy

"It's the most horrific and harrowing time that any person can go through.

"No family deserves to be... You know a loved one to be taken from them so brutally by a drunk driver.

BEYOND COST: Gillian Treacy with her son Ciaran, who lost his life after their car was hit by a drunk driver
BEYOND COST: Gillian Treacy with her son Ciaran, who lost his life after their car was hit by a drunk driver

"[After the collision] I feared the car would go up on fire.

"I was asking Sean to get Ciaran's belt off so the two of them could get out of car, I knew at that stage I couldn't get out.

Ronan and Gillian Treacy (pictured) lost their son Ciaran after a drunk driver collided head-on with Gillian’s car – Gillian’s powerful victim impact statement has provoked much-needed debate about our laws and society’s attitude to drink driving.
Ronan and Gillian Treacy (pictured) lost their son Ciaran after a drunk driver collided head-on with Gillian’s car – Gillian’s powerful victim impact statement has provoked much-needed debate about our laws and society’s attitude to drink driving.

"I did fear the worst - I thought Ciaran was badly injured or that he was dead."

Gillian's husband Ronan was at home with their youngest child Caoimhe when he received a call about the collision.

"I just didn't know what I was getting into," he said.

"I got Caoimhe out of the cot. I arrived at the scene in total disbelief. There were ambulances, fire brigades, guards, just mayhem.

"In my wildest dreams you couldn't imagine what i walked into.

"I was ushered straight to Sean who needed to be calmed down. He had a couple of bruises and was sore, but he was hysterical out of fear.

"I kept asking about Ciaran and they said 'He's okay, we're working on him'.

"I couldn't get near the car to see Gillian.

"I would have known all the local guys [in the emergency crews], known them all personally. It was etched across their faces."

Gillian praised the medical staff at Tullamore Hospital, who 'threw the rule book out the window' to allow her to spend a final night with her young son Ciaran who had passed away.

"Tullamore really pulled out every stop, they threw the rule book out the window, I was so lucky to spend a night with Ciaran, to spend those final hours and get to talk to him."

The young couple said life "has been tough" since the collision. Gillian is set for another operation on her lower leg in the next few weeks.

Ronan said their children, Sean and Caoimhe, are "doing good".

"Kids are a lot stronger than grown ups, they deal with grief a little bit differently.

"They're stronger than we give them credit for.

"Caoimhe has grown up too fast, we missed out on a lot, that's our one regret. She's all go-go-go like a normal three-year-old but we feel we missed out a little."

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