Taoiseach in tribute to crash victims


Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey has said there is no room for complacency with regard to road safety following the deaths of eight men in Co Donegal.

The men died when a black Volkswagen Passat, in which eight young men were travelling, was in collision with a red Toyota Corolla last night on the Buncrana to Clonmany Road.

The deaths bring the total number of lives lost in road crashes over the weekend to 10. Two people were also killed in separate crashes in Mayo and Tipperary at the weekend.

Praising the emergency services and gardaí who attended the scenes of the crashes, Mr Dempsey said the deaths served as a reminder to drivers not to become complacent in the fight to keep roads safe.

Taoiseach Brian Cowen, speaking in New York, extended his sympathies to the families of the dead. He said while road deaths had been cut by half over the past decade, “that is of no consolation to the loved ones of those who have died this weekend. My thoughts and prayers are with the families who are having to cope with such devastating news".

Fine Gael Donegal North East TD Joe McHugh said it was a terrible day for the county. Extending his sympathies to the families of the eight people who died, Mr McHugh said everyone living on the Inishowen peninsula would have some family connection to one of the victims.

Fine Gael councillor John Ryan, who knew most of the families affected by the tragedy, said his thoughts were with grieving relatives and friends. “Inishowen has had its fair degree of tragedies over the years but I don’t think I’ve ever come across anything of this magnitude or this level of carnage. It’s unbelievable,” he said.

National Roads Authority road safety expert Stephen Lambert said last night's death toll was the highest number of fatalities in a single crash since records began in 1961.