Friday 27 April 2018

Parents of Jake Brennan to leave three-night vigil upset as Government finds difficulties with road safety proposals

Jason Kennedy

Jason Kennedy

The parents of tragic Jake Brennan are to leave their three-day vigil outside Leinster House heartbroken, after finding out the Government are having difficulties with their road safety proposals.

Roseann and Christopher Brennan proposed Jake's Law in memory of their six-year-old son Jake, who died in his mother's arms after he was struck by a car outside their family home.

Roseann Brennan campaigning outside the Dáil.
Roseann Brennan campaigning outside the Dáil.
The distraught mother of little Jake Brennan (6), Roseann Brennan pictured at Lintown Grove, where he died after a road accident
Roseann Brennan, the distraught mother of little Jake Brennan, at Lintown Grove where six-year-old died after a road accident. Photo: Colin O’Riordan
The distraught parents of little Jake Brennan (6), Christopher and Roseanne Brennan pictured at Lintown Grove shortly after his death
Sinn Fein's Dessie Ellis, Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald with Roseann Brennan mother of victim Jake Brennan.
Parents of tragic six-year-old Jake Brennan, Chris Brennan and Roseann Brennan (front left to right) are pictured outside the Dail

The couple, along with a number of their friends and family from Kilkenny, spent three nights outside Leinster House in a vigil to highlight their proposal, which hopes to reduce the current speed limit of 50kph down to 20kph as the maximum speed limit for cars entering into the residential housing areas.

The Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe stated that the Government supported the principle of a 20 km/h speed limit for residential areas, but that difficulties arise when defining what constitutes a residential area. 

In  a statement, Minister Donohoe added that Local Authorities should have the freedom to determine where lower speed limits should apply, rather than imposing mandatory limits.

"I have no disagreement in principle with creating a 20 km/h limit for residential areas. However, difficulties do exist in relation to a mandatory, centrally-imposed speed limit of 20 km/h due to the difficulty in defining exactly is what a residential road," he said.

"There are many roads across the country that qualify as residential but which are also used as substantial routes for traffic. James’s St on the south side of Dublin and Church St on the north side are two such examples."

Speaking to Independent.ie, Ms Brennan said she was upset at the news.

"I'm very upset to be honest. I don't think this is acceptable. I'm upset now, but it just gets me and my husband stronger. We're going nowhere. This campaign is going nowhere," she said.

"I'll never know if we've saved children's lives, but I know we've slowed some people down."

The pair will leave for Kilkenny tonight and the first stop will be their son's grave.

"I missed going up to see my little baby's grave, so on the way home, that will be my first stop," she said.

The Government is now being called to fully support the proposal by Sinn Fein Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald, who has supported the Brennan family for some time.

"I am really really disappointed with this turn of events. This campaign isn't going to go away. The family will persist until the change happens," she said.

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