• Uncategorised

‘My little lad never actually got to meet his dad’



Source: TheJournal.ie[1]/YouTube

PATRICIA GIBBONS LOST her husband James in a road traffic accident nine years ago, and she still misses him every day. James died on 17 January 2008 when the lorry he was driving in was collided with head on by another lorry. He suffered severe injuries in the collision and the died at the scene of the crash.

James and Patricia were married just eight months when he died and she was 12 weeks pregnant with their second child. “My little lad never actually got to meet his dad,” Patricia told TheJournal.ie outside the gates of Leinster House this afternoon. Patricia has two children – David (8) and Conor (15).

She said that life has been very difficult for the family since her husband died. “People say that time is a healer, but to be honest it doesn’t get any easier,” she said.

Nine years on and I still miss him every day.

Patricia was outside Leinster House today along with other relatives of road victims as members of the Irish Road Victims Association (IRVA), a support network and advocacy group for people who have lost loved ones on the roads. road safety 593_90503578David Gibbons (8) from Tullamore holds up a picture of his father James whom he never got to meet and who died aged 28. Source: Same Boal/RollingNews.ie

Vigil Today is European Day for Victims of Crime and members of the organisation gathered outside Leinster House in a vigil alongside 188 pictures of road traffic victims throughout the years. The number was the represent the 188 people who died on Ireland’s roads last year.

IRVA 581_90503590Pictures of road victims set up outside Leinster House this week. Source: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie The purpose of the gathering was to highlight the impact losing a loved one on the roads has on those close to them, and to call for criminal justice reform to implement stronger penalties for road traffic offences. We’re here to look for justice for road victims and we want road crimes to be treated as other crimes,” said Donna Price, chairperson of IRVA.

We want these crimes to be treated with the priority they deserve.

And the sentence imposed should reflect the taking of a life.

IRVA believes sentences handed down to people who are convicted for driving offences that lead to a person being injured or killed should be longer and the penalties stricter than they are now. “We’re here to highlight that road crimes are real crimes so if you break the rules of the road you are committing a crime and you should expect a penalty,” she said. IMG_20170222_135602 Source: Cormac Fitzgerald?TheJournal.ie

Donna lost her own son Darren in 2006 after he was involved in a crash with a lorry. Darren – who was 18 at the time – was on his way to college at Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT) when a lorry collided with his car. “He set out in the morning for college and he never came home,” said Donna.

We try to raise awareness of the human impact.

The fact that these are real people and that these deaths are completely preventable.

Karen Newman was also present outside Leinster house today. She lost her brother Richard after he was involved in a road traffic accident in August 2004. “We’re here to honour the memory of these people,” she said.

To put a face to these people – it could be you it could be me it could be any member of your family any day of the week.

IMG_20170222_142711Patricia Gibbons (left) and Karen Newman (right) who both lost loved ones in road traffic incidents. Source: Cormac Fitzgerald/TheJournal.ie

Campaign IRVA has campaigned in the past for a number of changes to road traffic rules and regulations. They successfully lobbied for the introduction of mandatory testing of alcohol and the scene of a crash (which wasn’t in place when Donna’s son David died in 2006).

On Wednesday, members pleaded with drivers to follow all the rules of the road. To avoid driver fatigue, to slow down and to always take care when they drove. “I hope this promotes a bit of road safety and makes people aware of the effect it has on us standing here,” said Patricia Gibbons.

“It was devastating for me when I lost James.

I’m the mother and father role in the house now.

I’ve to do everything.

Read: Three out of five people think those convicted of drink driving should get automatic ban[2]

Read: Man still in serious condition one month after hit and run[3]

Get breaking news from TheJournal.ie via Facebook.
Just click Like.

References

  1. ^ TheJournal.ie (www.youtube.com)
  2. ^ Three out of five people think those convicted of drink driving should get automatic ban (www.thejournal.ie)
  3. ^ Man still in serious condition one month after hit and run (www.thejournal.ie)

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.