Staff and pupils moved to tears

Dromore High School students and staff were recently moved to tears by harrowing tales of road death and injury during a safer driving awareness event.

The third and final such event backed by the district Policing and Community Safety Partnership and targeted at young drivers, it saw local firefighters stage a live demonstration of an extrication from a wrecked car.

There followed what a spokesperson called “the humbling and harrowing testimonies of people who have been directly affected by serious injury and death on our roads”.

Among speakers was local man Barry McGuigan.

Confined to a wheelchair after suffering an acquired brain injury in a 2004 crash, Barry took a pro-active approach and with support and determination he has learned to speak again and has developed vital life skills.

Barry spoke of how he viewed the Dromore High School event and others like it as playing a significant part in his recovery; if he could change one life he might change a million, he said.

Dromore High School Vice-Principal Mrs Winnie Herron said there wasn’t a dry eye in the audience during what she called a “very worthwhile” event.

Banbridge PCSP Vice-Chair, Mr Jonathan Murphy, meanwhile, said, “We were delighted to secure funding from seized criminal assets to fund the Enhanced YPAD events and on behalf of Banbridge PCSP I would like to record thanks to the Department of Justice for making this funding available.

“The PSNI and the NIFRS also deserve sincere thanks for their contribution to the delivery of the events for the work that they do in dealing with fatal and serious road traffic collisions and, finally, thanks to New-Bridge Integrated College, Banbridge Academy and Dromore High School for enabling their students to attend the events which hopefully will impact on their behaviour both as passengers and as drivers.”

The next Banbridge PCSP event is a public themed meeting on Wednesday, February 26 The Belmont Hotel.

The first part of the meeting - from 4-6pm, will involve local sixth form students, staff from post-primary schools and those involved in working with young people in trying out the ‘Street Scene’ and the ‘Nite Safe’ workshops.

There will follow a second public meeting - 7-9pm - themed around promoting and supporting Neighbourhood Watch in the Banbridge District which will be run by officers from the PSNI and the NIFRS.