Ireland- Residents of the small town of Killala, Co Mayo, were left to mourn the tragic death of yet another 110 year old man in a road accident.
Local Gardai reported that Gerry "Gaga" O Reilly, born 15th February 1896, last night ran his 1974 Ford Capri into a ditch while returning home from a small get together hosted by family and friends just 3 miles from the small cottage near the bay where he lived.
O' Reilly's death brings to 76 the number of 110 year old males who have perished on our country's roads in 2006.
O'Reilly's crestfallen 84 year old son, Gerry "Gags" Jnr, said, "Dad was loved by everyone in the community. Shir he'd always be havin' a smile on his face and a spring in his step, fair play to 'em for a man of his age. He had a lot to live for too mind you".
Shaking his head, "Gags" Jnr added, "Ah shir it's terrible... absolutely terrible".
O'Reilly's death is likely to once again mount pressure on the Irish government to establish just why so many 110 year old men have been losing their lives on Irish roads in recent years.
Gay Byrne, former chat show host, beloved citizen, and recently assigned head of the Irish Road Safety Council said, "I know people have pointed to the studies carried out in Sweden that showed how 83% of men who reach the age of 110 are likely to suffer from some serious form of visual impairment".
Byrne added, "We accept that bad eyesight may in part explain why so many 110 year old men are perishing on our roads, but I believe too that the issue is, broadly speaking, a very complex one, with no, I repeat no, easy answers".
Other factors the authorities have taken into account include the long standing and unique Irish tradition of 110 year old men going out to the pub in the evening, getting absolutely hammered, and attemping, through diminished inhibitions, to pick up what the government describe as "shamefully easy women".
Labour Dublin North West Opposition Td, Roisin Shorthall said, "it's time the Irish people faced up to the cold hard facts of the situation. Let's face it- there is a very real tendency for 110 year old men in this country to go out to the pub, get completely rat-arsed, stumble out of the pub hand in hand with some two-bit fluezy, and then try drive home while drunkenly canoodling with their partner(s). The government need to be spending more on not just preventative measures but education too".
Shorthall went on, "It's not just 110 year old men who are suffering the costs either. Many people, considerably younger than 110 year old men - 43 year old women for example - are gettin involved in accidents with 110 year old men through no fault of their own".
Minister for Transport Martin Cullen defended government policy on the issue and said he "regrets the tendency of opposition parties to turn road deaths into a political football".
He maintained also that "continuing strides continue to be made to ensure the continuing safety not just all 110 year old men on our roads but all people of all other ages also".
The Minister went on, "We have been working in continuing tandem with the relevant groups to ensure our that we have gardai continually monitoring pubs where 110 year old alcoholics are continually known to drink and bring their car".
He finished his speech saying that "the government continues to express sympathy with families who have lost loved ones and who continue to lose loved ones, but we should on a whole continue to be optimistic that increased safety measures will continue to go about achieving a desired affect".