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Taoiseach Enda Kenny has NUI Galway alumni sets up road safety campaign an eventful visit to Galway By Jessica Thompson ble kind of burst, or the bottle Meghann explained that the behind the wheel and you’re LM_Ire_Student_Union_(w)250x(h)161mm.indd 7
Amy Haverty Àn Taoiseach Enda Kenny had a tumultuous visit to Galway, when he attended a number of events in the city last Friday week. The Taoiseach had arranged to visit three events on his visit to the city of the tribes but there was trouble brewing before he even arrived at his first venue. Mr Kenny was asked to open the new Croì Foundation Centre in Newcastle; however, a heavy Gardaí presence was visible as rumours of a protest spread through the city. The event was secured tightly although there was no sign of any protestors around the new Heart and Stroke Centre. Mr Kenny made reference to tragic Savita Halappanavar during the opening of the Croì House. While extending his sympathy to Savita’s husband Praveen and their families he said; “It’s a difficult time for you here in Galway and we’re all shocked by the death of Savita. Now
clearly, the investigation that is to take place, I expect will deal with the issues surrounding her death.” He added that it was important to speak about the “facts” surrounding her death. Àn Taoiseach then visited the SCCUL Entrepreneur of the Year Awards which were held at the Ardilaun Hotel. This too was a fairly sombre affair with most of the attention deservedly being given to the local businessmen and women. However, the Taoiseach’s visit was rounded off by a visit to the rural village of Abbey to open their new Community Centre. He was forced to vacate his vehicle after crowds of protestors blocked the road to the centre. Mr Kenny had been made aware that a group of protestors were awaiting him and made the proposal to meet them privately to discuss the matter. This offer was rejected. Àn Taoiseach was given a Garda escort as he made his way
A past student of NUI Galway has successfully started a road safety campaign. In March 2005, Meghann Scully lost her only brother Marcus to a car accident. “I always knew I wanted to do something for Marcus, but […] it’s hard to actually do something because grief takes over your whole life and it becomes a part of every day,” she said. Meghann bottled up her grief, but it was only in the past year that she finally came to terms with what happened. “When I did my masters here in NUIG, we had to do a radio documentary, and I decided to do mine on road safety and for Marcus,” she explained. Through the year, “the bubfrom his car to the centre. He was jostled and jeered at while he walked past the protestors. They were protesting the controversial turf cutting ban which was implemented on areas of environmental sensitivity.
overflowed and burst open” and Meghann finally came to terms with her grief. She said; “I thought I was having a breakdown, but in fact I was having a breakthrough, where finally I was kind of accepting what had happened to me and I decided that it was time to move on with my life and do something positive.” Meghann’s radio documentary is called I’m Loving Angels Instead and comprises a number of interviews with people who knew Marcus. While making the documentary, Meghann allowed herself to relive the emotion she felt on the night of her brother’s death, and in the weeks following his funeral. Instead of submitting it to radio stations, Meghann decided to hold onto it and set up The Marcus Scully Road Safety Campaign. “I realised ‘ok, this has to be brought out, I need to share this with the world’ because I’ve dealt with my grief; now I can hopefully help others and prevent these accidents happening,” Meghann said.
Gardaí go to schools and show visuals of accidents which she feels is really hard-hitting and can work, but students tend to forget what they’ve seen soon after. Her intention is to allow students to listen to her emotional radio documentary. “[My campaign] is about the emotional side and the effect that the death can have on the family years later. I’m trying to show young people that passionate side. […] I want to show them that if you do get
speeding, this is what your family will go through if you get killed – simple as that.” Meghann has set up a Facebook page for The Marcus Scully Road Safety Campaign, which she will update regularly so her message will remain in people’s minds. Meghann will be visiting schools all over Ireland to spread the word about road safety. Like her Facebook page to find out where she will be next.
Pictured at the launch of ‘World Remembrance Day for Road Traffic Victims’ were, Meghann Scully whose brother Marcus died in a road crash, Marjorie Flood who lost her son Mark in a road crash, Assistant Commissioner Gerard Phillips, Chief Superintendent Aidan Reid, Garda National Traffic Bureau and Mr Noel Brett, Chief Executive, Road Safety Authority.