THE parents of a schoolgirl who died on a dangerous stretch of road less than a fortnight ago believe their daughter would be alive today if a footpath had been built as planned.
The community at Ros a' Mhil, a small parish located on the outskirts of Co Galway, have been campaigning for 20 years for a footpath to be built – and tragically on May 1 Leah Ni Chuailain Ni Fhinneadha was struck and killed by a car.
The 15-year-old was the third pedestrian to be killed on the stretch in just two years.
Yesterday – on the last day of Global Road Safety Week – around 400 family, friends and members of the community gathered outside the local primary school for a poignant walk of remembrance.
Prayers were said and flowers were laid in her memory.
Her parents led an emotional appeal to Galway County Council to act immediately.
"We are here for Leah, and also to get a footpath for the community," said Leah's father, Liam O Finneadha.
"Leah shouldn't have lost her life. The community have been trying to get this footpath for 20 years.
"All we want is one metre of a footpath, if we had that we wouldn't be here today."
Leah's mother, Noreen Ni Chuailain, said "my little girl is gone, it's just not real".
One of Leah's best friends, Ronan O Conghaile, said the last week had been very hard on him and that he felt an emptiness without Leah being around.
Work was started on the project about three years ago, but stopped due to a lack of funds.