Biker Noel Dempsey is killed in crash after brave 48,000km charity journey
An Irishman has been killed in a motorcycle accident in South America, not long after completing a gruelling 48,000km journey to raise money for charity.
Noel Dempsey (53) set off on his journey from the northernmost part of North America to the most southern of South America, in Argentina, on a BMW bike in July.
Before leaving Ireland, the Offaly man had told the Herald it would be the trip of a lifetime that he thought would take months to complete.
"Most of my training has been building strength in case I have an accident in a remote area and end up with the bike on top of me," he said.
"One area where I'll have to have my wits about me is the Dalton Highway in Alaska, made infamous by the Ice Road Truckers TV show."
However, Noel's son Matthew learned late last week that he had been killed in a collision not long after finishing his trip that took him through 18 countries.
"He was on his way to Buenos Aires to try and get back to Europe and we're not really sure what happened yet," said Matthew.
"One report says he got caught by a cross-wind and crashed with a car.
"We don't know. We're just waiting for word back.
"Dad was a laid-back sort of guy, but when he said he was going to do something he would always achieve it, so at least he did achieve his goal of doing the trip."
Matthew's sister Sarah has travelled home from Australia after hearing the news.
"I found out when two gardai called to me," said Matthew. "It was hard to believe because I suppose we were worried about what might happen on his planned trip and relaxed a bit when that was done."
Noel was raising money for Sphenoid Ireland, a new charity formed from a voluntary organisation with its roots in suicide prevention.