The new Catholic Bishop of Killaloe, Fintan Monahan, has appealed to road users to be extra vigilant over the October Bank Holiday weekend.
He said that while he was "aware that many county councils and civic groups, especially the Road Safety Authority, work very hard to promote safety on the roads . . . in truth we all share this responsibility to protect human life on our roads.
“159 people have died already on our roads this year, and this figure is up from 127 deaths this time last year.
“This loss of human life is heartbreaking for the loved ones of the deceased and a tragedy for our society as a whole,” he said.
He said: “All road users: motorists, motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians . . . have a role in helping each other, even if we do not know one another personally.
“I am . . . inviting parishes across the diocese to pray for those who have lost their lives in tragic circumstances, and also to pray for the safety of our road users.”
He said he firmly believed “that prayer and reflection can change our driving behaviour, calm our aggression [and] remind us of the spiritual, moral and physical importance of what we are about to do”.