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World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims to be commemorated on Sunday 21 November

  • 24,663* killed and 84,977* seriously injured on Irish roads since recording began

This Sunday, 21 November, will mark ‘World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims’ with commemorations to remember the victims of road traffic crashes and their families taking place around the country. 

A renewed focus for World Day of Remembrance this year is on the victims of serious injuries and their families. 24,663* people have died on our roads since we began recording fatalities in 1959. Since 1977, when injury records began, 84,977* people have been seriously injured. The number of deaths is equivalent to the population of the town of Carlow and the number of serious injuries is equivalent to the population of Galway. 

Today, the Road Safety Authority (RSA) held a special event for family members of those who were killed and those who have been seriously injured in road traffic collisions, at the Museum of Modern Literature in Dublin. The event will be available to view on the RSA Facebook page from 2pm on Sunday 21 November. A special remembrance mass will also be broadcast live on RTE 1 TV this Sunday at 11am. Events are taking place nationwide to mark the day (see Editor’s Notes). 

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton said: “World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims is a time to remember those who have been killed or seriously injured on our roads. Equally, it is a time to honour the families and loved ones of the victims of road traffic crashes. It is also a time to thank our emergency services and healthcare workers who deal first-hand with the consequences of road traffic collisions. This coming Sunday I ask that we all take a moment to remember everyone affected by road trauma.”

Liz O’Donnell, Chairperson of the Road Safety Authority said: “This year marks the 15th year that we have marked World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims in Ireland. It is our way of ensuring that those who have died or been seriously injured are not forgotten. Because behind the numbers are real people; somebody’s father, brother, son, mother, sister or daughter.

They are real lives lost or shattered by serious injuries, leaving families and communities devastated as they cope with the lasting impact of death and serious injury on the road. There are a number of commemorations taking place around the country and we invite people to take a few moments this Sunday to join us in remembering all those who have been injured or killed on our roads.”

Chief Superintendent Michael Hennebry, Garda National Roads Policing Bureau, An Garda Síochána said: “Gardaí unfortunately know too well the devastation caused by road collisions. We also see the traumatic consequences of road traffic collisions on families and communities when we deliver the harrowing news nobody wants to hear, that their loved ones have been killed or seriously injured in a crash.

We must continue to work together to combat preventable road deaths and injuries. We can do this by slowing down, taking better care, having consideration for other road users, and remembering that we all share the road.  Please take some time this Sunday to remember road traffic victims, their families and loved ones.”

Sam Waide, CEO, Road Safety Authority said: “Whether we walk, cycle, drive or travel as a passenger, World Day of Remembrance is a time for us all to reflect on our own road user behaviour and make positive changes. If we all make small changes, for example to slow down, it would make a big difference to road safety. I’m asking everyone, out of respect to those who have lost their lives or have been seriously injured, to please make time this Sunday to think about what you can do to make our roads safe.” 

In 2005 the United Nations adopted a resolution which calls for governments to mark the third Sunday in November each year as World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims. This day provides an opportunity to draw the public’s attention to road traffic crashes, their consequences and costs, and the measures which can be taken to prevent them. 

119 people have been killed on Irish roads to date in 2021 this is a decrease of 13 deaths compared to the same date last year.

* Note, figures are provisional and subject to change. Up to 15/11/21.


Full details of events taking place around the country are available on the RSA website.


The Irish Road Victims Association (IRVA) will hold a virtual event to commemorate the UN World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims on Sunday 21 November at 3pm. All are invited to join this event on the following link


A Special Memorial Mass will take place in the Cathedral of St Mary and St Anne, Roman Street (Shandon), Cork City at 11.30am. It will be attended by personnel from the emergency services. All are welcome.


The Road Safety Authority will be holding a Mass for World Day of Remembrance road traffic victims and their families on Sunday 21st November at 11.30 at St Francis of Assisi Church, Priorswood, Coolock, Dublin 17.   

Members of the public are invited to bring a photo of their loved one to place under the Jesse Tree on the Altar, where a candle lighting service will take place.  


A remembrance service will take place in St Mary’s Cathedral, New Street, Killarney at 12 noon.


A remembrance service will take place in the Augustinian Church, Drogheda at 1.15pm


Lights in the Aras An Chontae Building in Carrick on Shannon will be lit up on the evening of Sunday 21November between 7 and 8 pm.


A remembrance Mass will be held in Remembrance of our loved ones in St Munchin's Church, Clancy Strand, Limerick at 11.30am. Families are invited to bring along a photo of there loved one on the day which will be placed around the alter. 


Kildare county council is inviting businesses and householders to ‘Shine a Light’ between 7 and 8pm on Sunday 21 November for road crash victims. An amber or white light will shine on public buildings such as council offices, town halls etc while people are also invited to shine a light in their front windows of the evening. As we know, gardaí, fire and ambulance personnel are the ‘first responders’ to road traffic incidents, and based on last year’s success, all services are invited to ‘line-out’ and shine a light outside their stations and base. Emergency vehicles will be parked on the apron outside their stations and will activate the vehicles ‘blue lights’ for a short period, with a periodical one-vehicle siren yelp, before falling silent. 

All religions and none will also be invited to participate in World Remembrance Day in their own reflective way. 


Offaly are joining with other local authorities in the lighting of Council buildings, throughout Offaly on World Remembrance Day by lighting on the 21 November 2021.


Longford County Council will be taking part in the World Remembrance Day for Road Traffic Victims on Sunday 21 November 2021, in the Shine a light campaign. Local Council Buildings and Fire stations will be lit up from 7 -8 pm on the 21 November.