Positive response from EU Petitions Committee to Irish EU tragedies – Higgins


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Fine  Gael Ireland North West MEP Jim Higgins, speaking in the aftermath of
the  Petitions Committee meeting on road safety and local roads in Ireland,
said  he was very happy with what appeared to be a fair outcome to the case
made  by the Farren, Gallagher and Keane families regarding the tragic loss
of  their daughters in three Irish road traffic accidents arising from road


Jim Higgins MEP with the Farren, Gallagher and Keane families during the Petition meeting


Speaking  at the Committee meeting yesterday, Jim Higgins proposed that the
cases of the Farren, Gallagher and Keane families should be referred to the
European  Parliament’s  Transport  Committee, of which he is a full member.
There  he hopes to prepare a report on local road conditions and pressurise
the Irish Government to introduce road safety audits for local roads.

“At  present  no  independent body inspects local roads in Ireland. This is
simply unacceptable. The Irish Government has signed up to the EU Directive
on  Road  Infrastructure  Safety Management yet they are unwilling to apply
the  same  standards  to their local roads. This selective approach to road
safety  is  farcical  and  will  not  protect  Irish  drivers.  It  is  the
Government’s  responsibility to ensure that all public roads are safe. This
includes rural and local roads.

“The  Petitions  Committee  will draft an opinion which will be sent to the
Oireachtas  Transport Committee recommending that the Farren, Gallagher and
Keane  families  be  invited  to  state  their  cases before the Oireachtas
Transport Committee. It is likely that the opinion will outline the general
consensus  as  expressed  by  the  families  in  their  submissions  to the
Petitions  Committee  and supported unanimously by MEPs from several member

Jim  Higgins  paid  tribute to the Farren, Gallagher and Keane families who
have  shown  incredible  strength and courage in their pursuit for justice:
‘They  are  not out for revenge or compensation they just want answers from
those  responsible and a change to the condition of local roads, so that no
other  family  has  to  go  through  the  pain which they have so stoically

“We  are  not  asking  for  the  Government  to  turn  our local roads into
motorways. We merely want safe roads with adequate signage. In this day and
age I really do not think that is too much to expect.”