Bishop Monahan: Families need to discuss road safety in the home

03 May 2024

Caption Bishop Monahan leading blessing of the roads, 17 March 2024, outside Cathedral of Saints Peter & Paul, Ennis (Catholic Communications Office archive)

  • Bishop Monahan to bless roads in Ennis as figures show 90 people have died on roads across Ireland, North and South

As the May public holiday is a long weekend, North and South, and is a high risk period on our roads, Bishop Monahan said, “Up to this morning, across the island of Ireland, there have been 69 road fatalities in the Republic of Ireland, and 21 fatalities in the Northern Ireland.  This is a dramatic and troubling increase in road deaths from this time last year, however I welcome that our new Taoiseach, Simon Harris, has prioritised road safety in his early days in office.  I also want to commend the Road Safety Authority, and all who are working diligently in this area, for all their additional work during this tragic time for road deaths.  We pray that the RSA’s media campaign being launched this weekend to raise awareness about vigilance on our roads is a success.

“Where Ireland once led on road safety standards, we now have one of the fastest growing road death rates in Europe*.  Road deaths are preventable but care, attention and vigilance must always be at the forefront of the minds of road users– motorists, motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians – if this is to happen.  Families must take responsibility for this worrying trend and discuss road safety in the home.  This loss of human life is a tragedy for our society and is particularly devastating for the families and loved ones of those involved. 

“Each of us must be conscious that we have a responsibility when we get behind the wheel to ensure we are not putting our lives or the lives of others at risk, and I invite parishes across the diocese to pray for those who have lost their lives in tragic circumstances so far this year, and also to pray for the safety of our road users.”

This Saturday, following the celebration of 6.30pm Mass in the Cathedral of Saints Peter & Paul, Ennis, Bishop Monahan will lead a ‘Blessing of the Roads’ ceremony to pray for the protection of motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.  Bishop Monahan recommends two prayers to help people change their driving behaviour, and to stay safe on roads across the island this bank holiday weekend.

17th century paidir as Gaeilge
In ainm an Athar le bua,
In ainm an Mhic a d’fhulaing an phian,
In ainm an Spiorad Naoimh le neart,
Muire is a Mac linn inár dtriall. Áiméan!

A contemporary prayer in the English language
Holy Mother, hear our prayer,
Keep us in your loving care,
Whatever the perils of the way,
Let us not add to them this day.
So to our caution and attention,
We add a prayer for your protection,
To beg God’s blessing on this car,
To travel safely near and far.


  • Bishop Fintan Monahan is Bishop of Killaloe
  • Sources for road safety information: An Garda Síochána and the Police Service of Northern Ireland. 
  • *Figures published by the European Commission in 2022