03.09.07

Monaghan

Posted in Feminism at 2:02 pm by Sarah

Well, let’s see. I posted yesterday morning, full of anger and vindication that the garda evidence said that:
1. Both drivers were drunk
2. One car crossed the road, straigtened up and then both cars approached each other at high speed. One swerved at the very last second but too late.

The word chicken was not mentioned at the inquest. I said that the time had arrived for people to be truthful about driver behaviour and stop saying that “accidents” happen. Bad driving happens.

Around 3pm the Eircom’s broadband system in the entire 04 area went down.
Around 6pm a woman rang me on my mobile (my phone number isn’t listed in directory enquiries, I don’t know how she got my number) and shouted at me that they weren’t playing chicken.
I got upset and managed to contact Gavin, my blog angel, and he made the post private for me.
Finally, right now, the internet is back and I can write this.

So this is the situation. It was an accident. So let’s not talk about it. Let’s not do anything about it. Let’s not try and save any other lives. FINE! They weren’t playing chicken. And no one ever passes out on a bend, on a double line or breaks a traffic light. Car accidents are always the fault of the government, not the driver. I give up.

12 Comments

  1. jane said,

    March 9, 2007 at 2:33 pm

    Sarah, please put the Original post back, everything you said was/is true isn’t funny how certain people would rather see people dead than face the truth , there just as Guilty as the car drivers/killers

  2. Stephen Neill said,

    March 9, 2007 at 2:38 pm

    Spot on! Let’s learn from this tragedy! – If we bury our heads then we will continue to bury more bodies of young lives full of potential. I am sure that everyone who died in the crash was loved and sorely missed by their families and friends but I am equally sure that in their terrible pain and grief they would want nobody else to share their experience. Even beyond death those who died can make a difference if the truth is allowed to be told! This is very hard if not impossible for the bereaved to hear and perhaps we ask too much of them by expecting their approval or understanding but the alternative is to do nothing……not a great choice and no easy answers and sadly no happy ending…

  3. Stephen Neill said,

    March 9, 2007 at 2:41 pm

    Note: My post was responding to the blog entry and not Jane…..I would not want to include the directly bereaved among the Guilty…as I said above we cannot expect the impossible from those who have lost so much but the rest of us can certainly be guilty

  4. Fred Logue said,

    March 9, 2007 at 2:50 pm

    Well said. Keep the post. Same attitude propagated culture of tax evasion and child abuse for years. Problems can only be solved by talking about them and considering all views.

  5. EJP said,

    March 9, 2007 at 3:06 pm

    The original post yesterday morning was somewhat inflammatory and seemed to me to be more about your personal vindication in regard to your original commentary on the accident, and the reaction it received, than about trying to save other lives. You referenced the case of what you said was a young male driver rushing back to Dublin and killing someone in an accident on the Enfield Bypass, as well as leaving his fiancée in a coma. It might seem a pedantic point but the driver was actually 60 years old, from Galway (http://www.unison.ie/meath_chronicle/stories.php3?ca=48&si=1771235&issue_id=15224) and on his way to the airport. The main thrust of your point remains, but the facts are subtly different.

    Directing hysterical condemnation at those pariahs of the nation’s road, i.e. young male drivers, has been done ad nauseum and is having no discernible positive effect. In my view it might even be counter productive in that it enforces and encourages the conviction, inevitably held by a bad example of the genre, that he isn’t as stupid or as bad a driver as those who manage to kill themselves, since he can’t relate to the vilified and exaggerated stereotype portrayed in such commentary. The fact that he actually is the stereotype isn’t brought home to him until he loses control at 2am one Saturday night and becomes a statistic.

    I’m all for learning lessons, and trying to save other lives, and I agree with you that the case in Monaghan should be highlighted, given that it surely represents the nadir in terms of young driver behaviour. To a degree I even think that the feelings of those close to the victims should not weigh heavily on an objective commentator, as informing a nation of young drivers of the possible horrific consequences of a few minutes of madness surely represents the greater good. However when most if not all other media outlets, and to the best of my knowledge the inquest itself, were unable to categorically state that the victims were engaged in a game of chicken, I think that you should have refrained from doing so too.

    I think that from the information that was conveyed to the public about the inquest, the majority of people can safely come to their own conclusions about the level of recklessness and even gross stupidity that was displayed that night, and given that those involved paid the ultimate price for their mistakes, are prepared to leave it at that. To make statements such as you made in that post, in my opinion goes a little too far, and impinges on what little dignity the families can continue to attach to the memories of those who died. To say that the drivers ‘executed’ the other victims is to brand them multiple murderers, when in reality all present in those cars presumably accepted a lift in full knowledge of the each driver’s condition and temperament, in full knowledge of their inebriation or sobriety, and even after accepting, had the capacity to object to the way the driver was behaving. It may be a simplistic analysis, but while the passengers weren’t to blame for what happened, they weren’t entirely blameless either, and in my view they weren’t executed.

    With that post I think you lost objectivity and you crossed a line that didn’t need to be crossed to make the valid points you wished to make. I think if you thought about it calmly you could have made equally strong arguments while retaining a more appropriate degree of sensitivity.

  6. jane said,

    March 9, 2007 at 3:12 pm

    we where in a small Village in Donegal over the Christmas, I was shocked by what I saw when we went for a walk on christmas day Young drivers racing around the Village and I mean racing at high speed, there was no police no one came out of their houses we had to go home because it was just to dangerous ,they were just left to get on with it and I did get a sense that the Attitude of the village was it would end in tears so just let them get on with it.Why else would they do nothing about it.

  7. Paul Newton said,

    March 9, 2007 at 3:21 pm

    As you well know ii have been a long time reader and comment occassionally on this blog, I have to say I oft wonder (as Ryan Tubridy did) what the motivation is?

    These commentary pieces can only be motivated by a few factors.

    1. You feel they contribute to the overall debate and are a valuable tool for offering an alternate opinion.

    2. You feel the blog is allowed to go further and faster than the mainstream media in terms of pointing fingers and allocating blame.

    3. The often controversial views expressed are designed to attract attention.

    4. The blog allows a forum to rant in public and with a potentially bigger audience than you might find in the pub or at dinner.

    I ask these questions as an attempt to enter the mind of a serious blogger (i only play at it myself) and discover what the motivation / reward is for expressing our personal views to the world?

    I also read twenty and wonder what his motivation can be… is blogging a navel gazing egocentric exercise or does it have some intrinsic value.

    some insight would be good?

  8. kav said,

    March 9, 2007 at 3:29 pm

    Though I left Ireland before I drove on the roads (live in the UK now), I know that only with experience did I become a more careful and sensible driver. I wasn’t an aggressive driver, but it took a couple of near-misses before I learned to respect how fragile a place a car is, and how out of my hands my fate could be. The problem with young inexperienced drivers is in believing that they have total control. The only thing that will make them realise that this is nonsense is when something happens to counter that belief. Unfortunately, sometimes what happens is fatal, and they never get a chance to learn from their mistakes.

    And I agree with the others above, you ought to put up the other post. It was strongly-worded, but it was a kick in the arse that was needed.

  9. Sarah said,

    March 9, 2007 at 3:38 pm

    Hi all, this is going to be my last word on the matter and I’m going to close comments after this.
    The first thing is that I really really sympathise with the families involved. I am extremely sorry for their loss. The problem is that more families will suffer the same thing and I just wish that the next set of families didn’t have to go through the same suffering. I genuinely believe that the only way we can cut back on road deaths is if we look ourselves in the eye and admit it is our own behaviour that causes accidents. I am truly at a loss to know what prevents us from doing that. There are elements of truth in EJP’s comment. I came under a lot of abuse when I first wrote about the car crash and yes I did feel that the inquest vindicated me. When I wrote yesterday I was angry so I am not going to put the post back up. Things written in anger are generally to be regretted and some of my language was strong. I don’t write about these things to get attention. I feel very strongly about them and blogging is about sharing views with likeminded people. I can’t understand why someone would come to this site to see what I have to say and then abuse me for saying it. I am sorry the families are so upset. And I’m sorry hundreds more will be equally upset this year, and every year.

  10. Cllr Damien Blake, Letterkenny Town Council » Update, March 13th 2007 said,

    March 13, 2007 at 9:39 am

    [...] a report from the Independent here. There has been much talk about it online, in particular from Sarah Carey and Dan Sullivan on their blogs. What we need at this time, more than ever, is the courage to face [...]

  11. Winds and Breezes :: on road safety blindness in Ireland said,

    March 16, 2007 at 1:24 pm

    [...] not to and now here I am again, consider commenting on the brooha over the Monaghan crash. I read Sarah Carey’s piece which I was directed to by Mark Waters, I’ve since read a piece by Daniel Sullivan and also a [...]

  12. Cllr Damien Blake, Letterkenny Town Council » Update, March 24th 2007 said,

    March 27, 2007 at 2:19 pm

    [...] responsibility, making people responsibly for their (our) actions on the roads. Some accidents are destined to happen, but many are caused by behaviour that we may not consider negligent at the time (lifting the [...]

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