Grieving mother’s plea for road death reduction

The late Katie Murphy, who died in a single vehicle crash in Tramore on October 5th

The late Katie Murphy, who died in a single vehicle crash in Tramore on October 5th

The grieving mother of Katie Murphy (16), who lost her life following a single vehicle crash in Tramore on October 5th, has made an emotional appeal for a reduction in deaths on local and national roads.

In what was her first ever Facebook post on Tuesday week last, November 22nd, Vivienne Murphy stated she’d been prompted to do so having received a message “written by an elderly gentleman who has a incredible understanding of grief” .

Part of that message reads: “Grief comes in waves. When the ship is first wrecked you are drowning with wreckage all around you. Everything floating around you reminds us if the beauty and the magnificence of the ship that was, and is no more. And all you can do is float, you find some piece of wreckage and you hang on for a while.

“Maybe it’s some physical thing, maybe it’s a happy memory or a photograph Maybe it’s a person who is also floating For a while all you can do is float -stay alive. In the beginning the waves are 100 feet tall and crash over you without mercy They come every 10 seconds and don’t even give you time to catch your breath. All you can do is hang on and float.

“After a while, maybe weeks, maybe months you will find the waves are still 100 feet tall but they come further apart When they come they still crash all over you and wipe you out but in between you can catch your breath you can function. You never know what’s going to trigger the grief. It might be a song, a picture a smell, a cup of tea…It can be just about anything and the wave comes crashing but in between waves there is life…”

Mrs Murphy, who described Katie as “an incredible daughter,” said she had been fortunate given that prior to her daughter’s death, she had never “experienced what grief was like”.

She added: “To be honest I thought it was a terrible sadness and loneliness for the person who had died. I truly believed this would never happen to us. But you just never know. Now I know it is so much more than that. Apart from the sadness, the feeling of loneliness, even in a packed room, losing a child destroys all you have ever believed to be true in life.

“All your hopes and dreams for that child are destroyed in one second. The physical and mental pain are incredible and the fear you feel that you might loose someone else you love dearly is incredible.”
In the most poignant section of her message, Mrs Murphy stated: “I know if Katie and indeed all young adults knew the pain that their families would go through they might think twice about driving fast…

“My hope is that people will share this post. Parents will speak to their kids who have cars and kids will understand the immense pain it causes to lose a child from your life forever. Please, let’s try together to reduce the number of people dying on our roads.”

Vivienne Murphy added: “Katie, our 16 years with you were a pleasure and an absolute privilege. Will love you intensely till the day I die. Your Mum forever xx.”

Just a day previously in Cork, a man who lost his wife and daughter in a road traffic accident on the Fermoy-Ballyduff Lower road last December, called for the introduction of legislation which would make the owner of a car driven by a learner driver equally culpable should such a car be involved in a road traffic accident.

Noel Clancy, whose wife Geraldine and daughter Louise were killed after their car came into fatal collision with unaccompanied learner driver Susan Gleeson on December 22nd last, called for a major change in the law, having given a victim impact statement at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

“I think it is important to reflect on the question on any given day how many learner drivers are on the roads of Ireland unaccompanied and how many parents or family members allow their cars to be driven by these drivers,” said Mr Clancy.

“I am calling on the Minister for Transport to implement legislation so that allowing one’s car to be driven by an unaccompanied learner driver is an offence and would make the car owner and driver equally accountable in law.”

Susan Gleeson (21) was given a three-year suspended sentence and banned from driving for 15 years for dangerous driving causing the deaths of Geraldine Clancy (58) and Louise Clancy (22).

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