Driver who survived swan smashing into her car tells Ryan Tubridy: 'I'm a tough old bird'
The motorist who escaped serious injury after a swan smashed into her windscreen has told RTE Radio One listeners she's "a tough old bird".
Motorist Mary Murphy was left terrified after the large adult swan, believed to be sick or disorientated, flew so low over the busy road that it ended up smashing directly into her windscreen.
The impact, which occurred as Mary was driving from Mallow to Cork at 12 noon in heavy traffic on Monday, felt similar to a missile hitting the small Suzuki car, she said.
Speaking to RTE Radio One's Ryan Tubridy programme this morning, Mary told the broadcaster while she was still shaken from the incident, she's a "tough old bird".
"Well thank you Ryan for your concern. I'm fine. Pardon the pun but I'm a tough old bird," she said to peals of laughter from Ryan.
The swan was killed instantly and the force of the impact with Mary's car drove the bird through the windscreen, knocking off Mary's rear-view mirror with the animal left lying wedged on top of the steering column.
Part of the car's roof and side pillar were even dented by the impact.
Astonishingly, Mary was left uninjured.
However, she was left traumatised by the incident, which also saw the inside of the car sprayed with blood from the dead swan.
The skilled driver kept her cool while in the outside lane on the busy motorway after the impact.
She managed to indicate and pull in to the hard shoulder before bringing her Suzuki SX4 to a safe stop, avoiding other cars.
"The swan was embedded into my windscreen, half in my car, blood was dripping everywhere inside my car," she told Ryan on his programme earlier today.
"When I realised I was okay, I just started shaking. I was in shock to be honest with you Ryan.
"The thud was amazing. When I heard the thud [of the swan], I knew it was huge."
Mary told listeners she fully appreciates the fact that she's alive following the unlikely bird strike.
"Basically the car can be repaired, but I was a very lucky woman to get out of it," she said.
And she has found some of the reactions to the unusual incident humorous.
"I've heard 'that was your swansong' and so on and so forth.
"Some guy asked did I have swan sandwiches for tea."
Mary's insurance providers AXA have been in touch with her and she's hoping the matter of repairs to her car will be addressed shortly.
"I need my vehicle for work and I can't afford to buy another car. I work hard. I work with physically challenged people and I need my car for work. I'm hoping they will do right by me," she added.