Concern as road death figures rise in Limerick

Fourteen people have died in 13 separate road accidents in 2016

David Hurley and Norma Prendiville

Reporter:

David Hurley and Norma Prendiville

Concern as road death figures rise in Limerick

The Limerick Tunnel was closed for over an hour

LESS than 36 hours after the latest fatality on Limerick roads, several public agencies came together this week to launch a major appeal to all road users to take care as winter approaches.

Fourteen people have died in 13 separate road accidents across the city and county so far this year – up from four during all of 2015.

As if to prove the point the Limerick Tunnel was closed this Wednesday following two multi-vehicle collisions. There were no serious injuries.

Speaking at the launch of a major safety and wellbeing campaign this week, emergency consultant at UHL, Dr Gareth Quinn, said every road user has a responsibility to ensure they stay safe.

“Road accidents happen to ordinary people and they cause significant devastation to the person who is in the crash but also to their family and we are just trying to get people to think about that – slow down, wear seat belts and leave the car at home if you are going out for a few drinks,” he said.

The latest road victim – Anthony Cooper - died following a collision between his car and another vehicle close to his home at Coole West, Athea  shortly after 9.30pm last Saturday.

The 54-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene while the driver of the other vehicle was uninjured.

Mr Cooper was the sole child of his adoptive parents, Ronnie and Bridie Cooper. His mother, Bridie Griffin was an Athea woman while his father was English. The family moved back from England about 20 years ago but both parents have died since.

Anthony, known locally as Tony, was described by those who knew him as a decent, friendly, chatty man who was popular with his neighbours. He was known to have artistic talent but had not enjoyed good health in recent years.

Fr Brendan Duggan welcomed a large congregation to Mr Cooper’s Requiem Mass this Wednesday. Mr Cooper was buried, with his parents, in the local cemetery.

Several key public agencies across Limerick have joined forces for a major new safety and wellbeing campaign, which was launched this week.

The pilot initiative which will see targeted messages being broadcast on radio, is being supported by Limerick City and County Council, An Garda Siochana, the HSE and the UL Hospitals Group.

The hashtag #LKworkingtogether will be used on social media throughout the campaign which will focus on three specific areas – road safety, mental health and safer communities.

Inspector Paul Reidy, head of the divisional traffic corps in Limerick, made an appeal this week for motorists to drive safely, see the video below.