Christina Donnelly marks son Brendan’s 10-year anniversary and embarks on new campaign
A local road safety campaigner is seeking a meeting with the Health Minister as part of a new campaign to help grieving families. Christina Donnelly’s son Brendan was killed in a road crash caused by a drunk driver outside Castlemartyr, County Cork on October 26th 2009.
Speaking ahead of his tenth anniversary this week, Christina says she still struggles to come to terms with her loss.“There’s no rulebook for grief, every family grieves differently,” she says.“I still find it very hard to accept the reality that Brendan is gone and that he was taken so suddenly and so needlessly. I’ve found the last two years extremely hard as it has really hit me that he is not coming back.”
She has campaigned relentlessly for stricter penalties for those convicted of drink driving, which culminated in the implementation of ‘Brendan’s Law’ last year.
Now, keen to continue her campaigning efforts, she is seeking a meeting with Health Minister Simon Harris to highlight the need for a special accident scene possessions register at all hospitals. When she was attempting to trace items belonging to Brendan, it emerged that they had apparently been misplaced and lost.She is calling for the implementation of a register to operate as standard between Gardaí, hospitals, coroner’s offices and undertakers when dealing with accidents.Christina, who has already written to both Minister Harris and Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan, says many families can be left further traumatised by the loss of belonging. “I have contacted Minister Harris again, but I am still waiting for a reply. I’m not going to give up,” she says.