Seanad debates

Wednesday, 28 February 2024

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business


10:30 am

Photo of Gerry HorkanGerry Horkan (Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

I join the Cathaoirleach in welcoming the Bulgarian ambassador and wishing the very best to the people of Bulgaria on their national day on Sunday. I know they will be celebrating in Ireland on Monday, 3 March. On 1 March, Moldovans will celebrate a tradition known as Mrior. I am convenor of the Moldovan-Irish friendship group. For the month of March, Moldovans wear a small brooch, keeping it close to their heart. I wish Moldovans in Moldova, as well as the many in Ireland, a very happy 1 March. They have done an enormous amount of work in the context of what is happening in Ukraine and taken in many people in spite of limited resources.

I would like the House to revisit the sad and difficult topic of road safety and road deaths. Unfortunately, the situation is not improving this year. According to the RSA, the four biggest risk factors are young people, driving at night, particularly at weekends, and on rural roads. Those are the four highest risk factors. We all need to get that message out to everybody. Every single death is one too many and there have been far too many of them. There was a tragic death in the Leader's constituency recently when a man saved his niece but lost his life in the process. It is a tragic situation. We all need to realise that when we are driving a motorised vehicle, it is a dangerous weapon and we must ensure we are driving in a manner appropriate to the road conditions. When it is dark or wet or the car is heavier or full of people, it may be different from negotiating the roads when the car is lighter and only has one person in it. There are many factors, including speeding and the use of drugs, alcohol and mobile phones. We need to revisit the issue. Every debate we have on the matter and every bit more publicity we bring to it is very important. I urge the Leader to arrange for a debate on the issue as soon as possible.


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