The documentary, After the Crash, had a powerful impact on Irish audiences last night 4 years ago

The documentary, After the Crash, had a powerful impact on Irish audiences last night

A devastating yet very important watch.

188 people died on Irish roads in 2016 in what was a particularly bad year for road safety in Ireland, a 15% increase on the figure for 2015 and a continuation of a trend that has seen road deaths rise in this country in three of the last four years.

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While the figures make for stark reading on paper, they don’t offer an insight into the heartbreak and devastation these deaths cause for the many families affected.

After the Crash, a documentary on RTÉ One on Wednesday night, told stories of personal loss and grief endured by the families and communities of those who have died in accidents on the road, which, tragically, is a weekly occurrence in Ireland.

The families of Andrew Roche Mason and Andrew Madigan, two care assistants in Limerick who died in March 2016 when the car they were travelling in crashed into a van, were interviewed as part of the documentary, as were Tom and Margaret Kelly, whose daughter Tina and grandson Joey were killed when their car hit a tree near their home in Ballygar, Co Galway.

The documentary also featured the story of singer Colin Vearncombe, who had a worldwide hit song in the 1980s and died, aged 53, when his car skidded on black ice on his way to Cork Airport in January of last year.

Clip via RTÉ

There’s barely a person in the country whose life hasn’t been affected in some way by the death of a friend or a family member on Irish roads and while that made After the Crash a heartbreaking watch, it was an important one too in that it re-emphasised the paramount importance of safety on Irish roads.

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The bravery of the participants was saluted by the watching audience, on whom the documentary made a powerful impact.

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