Tánaiste expresses concern and calls rise in road deaths 'perplexing'

Tánaiste Expresses Concern And Calls Rise In Road Deaths 'Perplexing'
Speaking during a visit to Collins Barracks in Cork on Monday to open a multi-million euro accommodation block, Mr Martin said that road safety was becoming a “real priority.” Photo: PA Wire/PA Images
Share this article

Olivia Kelleher

Tánaiste Micheál Martin has expressed concern and described as “perplexing” the loss of 63 people on Irish roads so far in 2024.

Speaking during a visit to Collins Barracks in Cork on Monday to open a multi-million euro accommodation block, Mr Martin said that road safety was becoming a “real priority.”


"It is the Commissioner (Drew Harris) that has to deploy the garda workforce as optimally as he can. I don't get involved in the operational side of An Garda Síochana.

"But road safety is becoming a real priority. Certainly, since we have emerged from Covid-19 something different is happening on our roads.

"The number of fatalities and injuries are on the increase. This is going against the trend that we had experienced the previous decade where numbers had come significantly down."

As recently as five years ago, Ireland was experiencing a reduction of fatalities on our roads of over 40 per cent. However, thirty more people died on our roads last years as compared to in 2022.


In response, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris has directed that all uniformed gardaí are required to carry out at least a half an hour of high visibility road policing every day.

Meanwhile, the Tánaiste says that we collectively as a society need to really focus on the issue of road safety.

"We all do have individual responsibilities but also the enforcement side of it and the legislative side of it is being looked at as well.

"Certainly, it is a matter of grave concern that quite a number of people - the first four months of this year now - numbers are higher than the corresponding period last year.


"It is good that the Commissioner made that announcement (re garda policing on road safety). A number of other representative bodies had something to say about it.

"In drawing attention to this and focusing on this - that is the Commissioner's job. Tasks are many and pressures are mounting, but the road safety issue is one that we all have to focus.

"I think it is very, very tragic when young people lose their lives in an accident. We have all experienced that in our lives - friends when we were young who lost their lives in horrific crashes. In those times there weren't safety belts and stuff like that."

Mr Martin said that it “is very perplexing that, in the here and now, numbers are going up to the degree that they are."

More red light cameras to be rolled out amid conce...
Read More

"I think we need a bit more analysis as well - deeper analysis as to what is going on (on Irish roads).

"I would appeal to people generally in terms of behaviour on the roads to take care and to be very conscious of safety - not just in terms of yourself but those who are in the car with you."

Separately, the Taoiseach Simon Harris is holding a meeting on Monday with the Road Safety Authority (RSA) to discuss the concerning upward trend of deaths on Irish roads.

Mr Harris met with Garda Commissioner Drew Harris and Minister for Justice Helen McEntee last Friday where the matter was also discussed.

Read More

Message submitting... Thank you for waiting.

Want us to email you top stories each lunch time?

Download our Apps
© BreakingNews.ie 2024, developed by Square1 and powered by PublisherPlus.com