Thursday 27 July 2017

Grieving mum urges parents to check their children's bikes

Barry Duggan

THE mother of a schoolboy who died in a road accident last year has urged all parents to check the safety of their children while out cycling.

Maurice Cahill (11) died after he collided with an Isuzu SUV in south Limerick while cycling on June 24, 2009.

He had just left a neighbour's home where he had been playing with friends.

While acknowledging that her neighbours and friends where Maurice was playing were in no way neglectful to her son's welfare, Marian Wallis, from Ardpatrick, Co Limerick, said safety was "paramount" when it came to children cycling.

She was speaking following the inquest held into her son's death in Limerick yesterday.

"We would like to make it very clear that the other two families involved today are our neighbours and our friends and we attribute no blame whatsoever to anybody," she said.

While Maurice was not wearing a safety helmet when he collided with the oncoming vehicle on the Ardpatrick to Ballyhea road, Dr Elizabeth Mulcahy -- who performed a post mortem -- said a helmet would not have saved him. The inquest heard that the fifth-class pupil died from multiple chest and abdominal injuries, including a tear of the ascending aorta.

The jury returned a verdict in accordance with Dr Mulcahy's findings.

Ms Wallis said it should be mandatory that all children wear protective clothing when cycling and that necessary checks are made to their bikes.

"All bicycles should be checked beforehand," she said. "I am a teacher myself and I feel there should be adequate supervision." Ms Wallis was also critical of the inquest process. "It took 53 weeks to find out how our son died," she said.

"We find it very difficult to understand that when our son died . . . there were no statements taken from any witnesses for many months. In fact, some of the statements are dated October and November."

She added that the family could not understand why the public-service vehicle inspector who examined the scene of the accident was not obliged to be at the inquest to give evidence.

The jury heard Maurice had been on a bicycle belonging to a friend when he collided with the SUV.

Coroner Dr Tim Lucey said the tragic accident reflected the "worst nightmare of any parent and any parent having children in to play".

Irish Independent

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