Wednesday 13 December 2017

Gardai wait to interview sole survivor of accident

Barry Duggan

THE sole survivor of the horrific road accident which claimed the lives of four teenagers remains in Tralee General Hospital recovering from his injuries.

Gardai have yet to speak to Darragh Jones (16), from Farranfore, Co Kerry, who escaped with his life from the Hyundai Accent which careered off the road and into a tree on the N72 Killarney-Mallow road last Wednesday.

At the weekend funeral Masses for brothers David (17) and Kevin (15) Breen, and Brian Coffey (19), prayers were offered for the full recovery of Darragh. The funeral of the fourth victim, Aine Riordan (15) took place last Friday.

Gardai will speak to Darragh about the circumstances leading up to the accident when he has sufficiently recovered, but the investigation is expected to be a long inquiry.

Meanwhile, a Kerry TD has called for the introduction of safe driving theory to the secondary school curriculum following the four road deaths.

"It has to be brought in as part of the school curriculum and it is time for it to be introduced in full," Fine Gael TD, Jimmy Deenihan said.

"We have to make a lasting impression on young people and that should start with their education," he said.

He also said that the graphic consequences of road accidents must continuously be displayed to all young motorists and passengers.

"All the stark ads on road safety will have to be repeated. Speed kills and we have to get this message across as strongly as possible to young people," he added.

There was nobody available from the Road Safety Authority for comment yesterday on the suggestion. Neither was any comment forthcoming from the Department of Education.

Meanwhile, there were emotional scenes at the funerals of the Breen brothers and Brian Coffey over the weekend.

Speaking in St Mary's Cathedral in Killarney at the funeral Mass for David and Kevin Breen, Fr Gerard O'Leary said, "We must all learn that human life is so precious and sacred and that we as human beings are so fragile and we need to care for ourselves and to take care of others".

President Mary McAleese also sent messages of sympathy to all the grieving families.

Irish Independent

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