A graphic novel aimed at teenage road users was launched in memory of hit-and-run victim Marty Gallagher at Derry’s City Hotel on Friday.
The 25-year-old from Shantallow was killed in a collision by a drunk driver at Racecourse Road as he walked home from celebrating Derry’s Halloween festival in 2009.
The book called ‘Crash’ was designed by artist Joe Campbell at Greater Shantallow Community Arts and will go into schools across they city to warn young drivers of the consequences of dangerous and drunk driving.
Set against a local backdrop, transport officials and local politicians praised the innovative way in which the local arts group has chosen to get across the road safety message.
SDLP MLA Colum Eastwood, who spoke on behalf of Environment Minister Alex Atwood, paid tribute to the Gallagher family.
He said: “Today is also an opportunity to recognise the bravery of Marty’s family who have shown great courage and great example by speaking in the DOE television campaign. The only way we can tackle the scourge of road deaths in our society is by speaking up. This graphic novel was created by young people for young people and everyone involved should be congratulated on a great achievement which sends out a very clear and hard hitting message.”
Speaking at the launch Bryan Myles from the Community Transport Association said.
“We’ve been very impressed with the quality of this Greater Shantallow Community Arts project which has aligned itself well with the DOE’s road safety message.
“We feel it will have a very real impact because of the way it is designed and scripted and because the images are local this is an excellent example of the arts being able to get the road safety message out there.”