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Garda Chief’s plea to stop carnage on Galway’s roads

GALWAY’S most senior Garda officer has this week made a heartfelt appeal for all road users to ‘take a time out’ and to review their whole approach to safety, following last weekend’s latest tragedy which claimed the lives of three teenagers.

Chief Superintendent Gerry Roche told the Connacht Tribune that since the end of last November, nine people had lost their lives on Galway roads with at least three more suffering life-changing injuries.

“This is a terrible toll over a short period of time. The really sad thing is that nearly all those deaths and serious injuries could have been prevented – the consequences for the families and friends of those who have died are catastrophic,” said Gerry Roche.

In the early hours of Saturday morning last, February 11, three teenagers – John Keenan Sammon (16), Christopher Stokes (19) and Wojciech Panek (17) – drowned when the car they were travelling in, entered the River Corrib near Galway city at Menlo Pier.

As part of a new Garda strategy introduced by Chief Superintendent Roche towards the end of last year, this latest tragedy will be examined in detail by a specially trained Garda investigating officer.

“We just have to look closer, and examine in more detail, why so many people are either dying or being seriously injured on our roads. This type of carnage just has to stop,” he said.

He added that if drivers stuck to the basics of slowing down; never driving while under the influence of drink or drugs; always wearing their seat belts and making sure their passengers did likewise, then the death toll on Irish roads could be dramatically reduced.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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