Sunday 4 December 2016

Toddler's death moves pupils to write letter

The article last week by Brendan O'Connor about the tragic death of toddler Vanessa Siatka, inspired a group of sixth-class pupils to write to us

Published 01/05/2016 | 02:30

TRAGIC DEATH: 6th Class Confirmation pupil Raymond Farrell with his classmates from Scoil Diarmada, Castledermot, Co. Kildare, last week. Photo: Colin O’Riordan
TRAGIC DEATH: 6th Class Confirmation pupil Raymond Farrell with his classmates from Scoil Diarmada, Castledermot, Co. Kildare, last week. Photo: Colin O’Riordan

The tragic death of toddler Vanessa Siatka in the Phoenix Park after she was knocked down by drunk driver Ciaran Lane, inspired a moving article by Brendan O'Connor on page one of the Sunday Independent last week.

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In turn, the sixth class of Scoil Diarmada, Castledermot, Co. Kildare, under teacher Deirdre Harris, were so moved by it that they composed a letter to the Editor of the paper.

According to Miss Harris, this article really struck a chord with the class, who are currently writing their pledges regarding alcohol and drugs for their Confirmation.

This is their letter:

"Dear Sir, with regard to Brendan O'Connor's article 'When A Tear Means Goodbye', (Sunday Independent, April 24), we, the current 6th class of Scoil Diarmada, Castledermot, felt compelled to write this letter.

"We are currently preparing for our Confirmation, and, in doing so, must make a pledge to our parents, regarding our choices around alcohol and drugs in the coming years.

"We have also been learning about alcohol and substance-abuse and its effect on our bodies, families and lives. We fully agree with Mr. O'Connor that as a nation there is a complacency returning to society regarding drinking and driving. The lack of Garda presence and checkpoints across our roads, are luring people into taking the risk of 'one for the road'.

"The tragedy of Vanessa Siatka being taken from her parents is one of too many such incidents. We feel our laws must become stricter on people who drive under the influence. We hope that our generation, through education and open discussions with our parents, will be the generation to change the attitude to alcohol in this country.

"We cannot continue to ruin the lives of families through selfish, indulgent actions.

"Thank you, Mr O'Connor, for striking a chord among our class with your heartfelt article. We shall endeavour to remember Vanessa and her parents in our coming ceremonies.

"Yours Sincerely,

6th Class, Scoil Diarmada, Castledermot, Co.Kildare"

Sunday Independent

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