Easter Blessing of the Roads

Fr John Kenny, PP Partry/ Tourmakeady blesses the road (N84) outside

Partry Church on Easter Sunday morning after mass. Photo: © Michael

Donnelly Photography

Clerics in Co. Mayo will this weekend bless the county’s roads in a

novel ceremony aimed at reducing the number of people who die in

traffic accidents each year.

The campaign comes after Gardai have expressed serious concern over a

rise in road deaths in the west over the past two years which runs

contrary to the downward trend nationally. Single-vehicle crashes

involving male drivers in random locations constituted the largest

number of fatalities in the region last year, overall deaths in the

region had risen from a low in 2010. Speeding in 80km/h and 100km/h

zones had been identified as a major factor in fatalities in the west.

A special ‘Blessing of the Roads Ceremony’ will take place in many

parishes and Services throughout the County on Easter Sunday as

religious leaders back the campaign to make the roads safer.

The ceremony, which will place at most Catholic churches and a plea

for people to use our road safely will be made at Church of Ireland

churches on Sunday next, this campaign is been promoted by the Road

Safety office of Mayo County Council.

Noel Gibbons Road Safety Officer said  “The community makes improved

road safety a goal in an effort to ensure that the grief associated

with loss of life, or serious injury, does not come to them.

“This is not the first year we have done the Blessing of the Roads

Ceremony in Co. Mayo and we have get a very enthusiastic response.

There are still too many drivers under the impression that an accident

won’t happen to them.

Castlebar based Chief Superintendent Tom Curley said

‘’An Garda Siochana appeal to all road users to think “Safety” every

time they use the

public roads and streets.

We urge families to discuss the topic so that Parents and Guardians

assume and accept responsibility to alert their sons and daughters of

their obligation to drive within all legal boundaries.

In circumstances where Parents have supported their child with a means

of transport or insurance there should be conditions attached to the

use of such vehicle including the legal obligations on young permit

holder drivers.’’

Tuam archdiocese spokesperson Fr Fintan Monaghan said the church was

“fully behind the campaign. We all need to play our part to reduce the

number of road deaths.”

“The trauma of road crashes to families and communities is

devastating. A major focus of the campaign is to promote the issue of

driver fatigue, drink-driving and speeding, as well as praying for the

safety of not only all road users, but our Gardai and emergency

services.”         The proposed prayer is a variation on this old

Irish blessing:

The Motorist Prayer

Lord,

Grant me a steady hand

And a watchful eye

That no person may be hurt

When I pass by,

Thou gavest life

I pray no act of mine

May take away or mar

That act of Thine. Amen.

Michael Donnelly

Ballyheane

Castlebar

Co Mayo

Mob; 087 265 4747

Phone 094 9030945

http://www.mayopics.com

Noel Gibbons

Noel Gibbons

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