Blessing of the Roads

Date Published : April 17th, 2017    Published By : admin

A special ‘Blessing of the Roads Ceremony’ took place at many parishes and services throughout County Mayo yesterday, Easter Sunday as religious leaders back the campaign to make the roads safer.

The ceremony was steered by Mayo County Council’s Road Safety Officer Noel Gibbons and supported by gardaí and members of the Mayo emergency services.

Some priests took to the road outside churches to perform the blessings, while others blessed the roads for the alters.

In a statement to TheCouncil.ie Noel Gibbons said “The Blessing of the Roads ceremony takes place in parts of Australia each year to raise local awareness of road safety, and we are have brought it to Mayo once again this year again to make the roads of County Mayo safer to use .”

Four people died on county Mayo roads in 2016, while one person has died on Mayo roads this year so far.

Fr. Paul Kenny, Partry, Co Mayo. Pic: (Mayo Road Safety facebook)

An enthusiastic response is received by church goers each year when the Blessing of the Roads takes place. Mr. Gibbons says “There are still too many drivers under the impression that an accident won’t happen to them. This is Mayo county council working with other organisations to make the County a safer and more attractive County to travel and live in.”

Garda Superintendent Joseph McKenna, Castlebar said “An Garda Síochána appeal to all road users to think ‘Safety’ every time they use the public roads and streets. We urge families to discuss the topic so that parents and guardians assume and accept responsibility to alert their sons and daughters of their obligation to drive within all legal boundaries.”

“In circumstances where Parents have supported their child with a means of transport or insurance there should be conditions attached to the use of such vehicle including the legal obligations on young permit holder drivers” the Superintendent said.

Tuam Archdiocese secretary Fr Francis Mitchell said the church was fully behind the campaign. He said “The trauma of road crashes to families and communities is devastating. A major focus of the campaign is to promote the issue of driver fatigue, drink-driving and speeding, as well as praying for the safety of not only all road users, but our Gardaí and emergency services. We are fully behind the campaign. We all need to play our part to reduce the number of road deaths.”

Purpose of the campaign:

*         Promote working together for road safety.

*         Raise community awareness of road safety.

*         Involve local communities in road safety activities.

*         Encourage the adoption of the safe system approach.

 The proposed prayer is a variation on this old Irish blessing:

The Motorist Prayer

Lord, Grant me a steady hand and a watchful eye, that no person may be hurt when I pass by,

Thou gavest life, I pray no act of mine, may take away or mar, That act of Thine.

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