BALLINROBE’S Parish Priest has urged the community to support the families of the three victims of last week’s tragic road accident, not just in the weeks to come, but in the months and years ahead. Monsignor Tom Shannon also confirmed that a counsellor has offered her services to anyone in Ballinrobe who needs help coming to terms with this tragedy.
Msgr Shannon was called to the scene of the accident on the Castlebar Road, close to Ballinrobe Racecourse, on Wednesday evening last, and anointed the three young men - Jonathan Donovan, Aaron Morley and Pat Morley - who lost their lives. Commending the people of the town on their display of solidarity in the days after the accident, Msgr Shannon said that the families would need them more than ever in the future.
“We thought Ballinrobe had suffered enough in 1984 when a boating tragedy claimed the lives of three members of the same family. Now we have to cope with a similar loss of life.
“The community has rallied around the families in the days since the accident, but all three families need our continuing support, not just now, and in the days and weeks ahead, but for a long time to come. I knew all three lads, and I baptised Aaron [Morley] in 1985. He would have been 21 on Christmas Day and Dominick and Bernie will need our support this Christmas Day and in the years to come, as will all the families,” he said.
In addition to the help of the community, Msgr Shannon noted that some people may also need counselling in the aftermath of this harrowing event. Marian Staunton, a Castlebar-based counsellor, spoke to the parish priest last week and offered her services to anyone who may need such help.
“Her number is 094 9021303, and she is willing to talk to anyone who feels the need to talk. I would encourage all those affected by this to consider her offer if they feel it will help. A huge number of people has been affected, the wide circle of friends of all three young men, as well as their families.”
Msgr Shannon paid tribute to the friends of the three men on their mature response to the tragedy and on their unity at the funerals.
“I was greatly impressed by the huge number of their [the three young men’s] peers that were present at the funerals. They were all dressed in black suits and paid tribute to their friends in a respectful and poignant way. They were in no humour for smiling, they were all so numbed by what had happened, and yet they all turned out to support each other and the families so beautifully,” he said.