Today in Ennis, Co Clare, Bishop Fintan Monahan of Killaloe said, “This long weekend, as people across the country are finally, and deservedly, embracing a post-pandemic era of relaxed social restrictions, I ask that we all take particular care on our roads which are likely to be their busiest in eighteen months.”

Bishop Monahan confined, “During the Covid-19 pandemic we gained a greater understanding of the vulnerability of human life at all ages, as well as our co-responsibility to act together in order to protect life.  Sadly, so far this year, there have been 114 road fatalities in the State.  This loss of life is a tragedy for our society while devastating for the families and loved ones of victims of road traffic accidents.

“Over this weekend I invite parishioners across the Diocese of Killaloe to pray for those who have lost their lives in tragic circumstances so far this year, and to pray for the safety of all our road users.

“Tomorrow, following my celebration of 6.30pm Vigil Mass in the Cathedral of Saints Peter & Paul, Ennis, I will lead a ‘Blessing of the Roads’ ceremony to pray for the protection of motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.  I recommend the following dedicated prayers for motorists which can be said before driving:

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.
Amen.

Next month, on Sunday 21 November the Feast of Christ the King, Bishop Monahan will celebrate televised Mass for the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims on RTÉ 1, with music provided by Father Liam Lawton.

ENDS