Friday 26 December 2014

'Cycle Against Suicide' steward (69) killed in Donegal road crash

Louise Kelly & Mark O'Regan

Published 07/05/2014 | 19:30

Brendan O'Connell (69) from near Tralee, Co Kerry, who died while volunteering as a steward for a Cycle Against Suicide charity event. He suffered devastating injuries after his motorbike was in collision with a truck at at Loughmor, Barnsmore Gap on the road between Donegal town and Ballybofey.
See story Mark O'Regan
Brendan O'Connell (69) from near Tralee, Co Kerry, who died while volunteering as a steward for a Cycle Against Suicide charity event
Brendan O'Connell (69) from near Tralee, Co Kerry, who died while volunteering as a steward for a Cycle Against Suicide charity event

A 69-year-old man has been killed in a road traffic accident in Co Donegal this morning.

Brendan O'Connell, from near Tralee, Co Kerry, died while volunteering as a steward for a Cycle Against Suicide charity event.

The father-of-three was fatally injured when his motorbike crashed into a truck at Loughmor, Barnsmore Gap on the road between Donegal town and Ballybofey.

The collision occurred at approximately 1150am this morning and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Mr O'Connell was taken to Letterkenny General hospital where a post mortem was carried out.

The incident happened approximately 45 minutes after the group of cyclists departed from Donegal town.

His brother, Ciaran O'Connell, last night paid special tribute to him as a "very special man" and told the Irish Independent that his death came as "a big shock".

"My brother had retired within the last year but he was still involved in the event. He was a very helpful guy and and when Jim Breen became enthusiastic about the event he got involved."

"He was very fond of the motorbike he had now, but it's only in the last few years that he got one. He was very enthusiastic about mechanical things in general."

"We got on very well together and he was a loving husband and father."

No cyclists were involved in the accident and all cyclists returned to Donegal following the accident.

No decision has been made as yet with regards to the remaining four days of the cycle.

Jim Breen, founder of Cycle Against Suicide said “Our thoughts and prayers are with our dear friend and his family at this incredibly difficult time. Our hearts are simply broken.”

The driver of the truck was uninjured.

The road was closed to facilitate a Forensic Collision Examination and has since reopened.

Witnesses or anyone with information is asked to contact the Gardai in Ballybofey on 074 913770, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda station.

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