Robe Training & Matthews Coach Hire honoured at annual RSA Leading Light Awards 2023

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*13 awards presented to individuals and organisations in recognition of their commitment and dedication to road safety

Robe Training Ltd., Ballinrobe, County Mayo and Matthews Coach Hire Ltd., Monaghan, were among a total of 12 category and one Special Recognition award winners, presented by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) to individuals and organisations to honour their commitment and dedication to road safety.

In honouring Robe Training in the CPC Training Organisation category, the citation read: “Providing Driver CPC training to professional bus and truck drivers in the west of Ireland and beyond since 2018, Noel Finlay is the founder and Managing Director of Robe Training Ltd. Together with trainers Patrick Finlay and David McMorrow, they have an in-depth knowledge of the rules and regulations in addition to the practical elements required by all professional drivers in the transport industry.”

Other award recipients on the day included Matthews Coach Hire Ltd, who were honoured for their commitment to road safety for the installation of alcohol ignition interlocks in its fleet of coaches. The vehicle’s engine will not start if the driver’s alcohol level exceeds a pre-set safety limit

At the event Jack Chambers, TD, Minister of State at the Department of Transport paid tribute to all of the award winners: “I want to congratulate everyone who received an award today. I’d also like to thank you for your passion, commitment and the incredible effort dedicated to making our roads safer for all road users. I recently attended the launch of the Christmas and New Year’s road safety appeal at the National Rehabilitation Hospital, where we heard from survivors of road traffic collisions. 2023 has been an incredibly difficult year on Irish roads and their testimony served as an additional reminder of why it is so important that people embrace road safety education efforts in their communities.”

Liz O’Donnell, Chairperson of the RSA presented the awards added: “Every year, we at the Road Safety Authority are delighted to be given this opportunity to recognise those doing inspiring work and ensuring the road safety message is spread throughout schools, communities, organisations and beyond. I want to thank this year’s winners for all they have accomplished to date. I extend my congratulations to the other award winners and those who nominated them, for their inspiring work and efforts to make our roads and communities safer.”

The Leading Light in Road Safety Awards 2023 were presented in the following categories:

Special Recognition: Leo Lieghio

Approved Driving Instructor: Richard Whyte

CPC Training Organisation: Robe Training Ltd

Business: Matthews Coach Hire Ltd

Education (Pre-Primary): Claire Barden Educational Services Ltd

Education (Primary): Rush National School

Education (Secondary): Edweena Farrell, Youth Work Ireland, Midlands

Education (Third Level/Further education): An Garda Síochána Lifesaver Project

Education (Community): Vision Ireland

Road Safety Champion: Clodagh and Méabh White

Sustainable Travel: University of Limerick Smarter Travel

Public Sector: An Post Transport Group

Gay Byrne Media Award: Sally-Ann Barrett

The ‘Gertie Shields Supreme Award’ is presented to an individual or group for an innovative and outstanding road safety initiative, or for their leadership and exemplary dedication to the area of road safety. The ‘Gertie Shields Supreme Award’ is so called in honour of the inspirational road safety activist and 2013 recipient of the award, who sadly passed away in 2015. Gertie, who lost her daughter in 1983 when she was killed by a drunk driver, campaigned relentlessly to change attitudes to drink driving in Ireland and through her sustained lobbying of Government, achieved extraordinary strides in road safety legislative and social change.