Tragedy as biker killed during charity run weeks after engagement
A motorcyclist was killed in a collision with a truck while taking part in an event to raise money for a suicide charity.
Plant operator Rory Smith (45), from Slane, Co Meath, was riding his motorbike in the Easter Poker Run when the tragedy struck.
In recent weeks, Mr Smith had revealed to friends that he was engaged to be married.
The Poker Run event involved motorcycle enthusiasts signing up to undertake a circuit and visiting various checkpoints along the way.
It started at the Boyne Valley Inn, Slane, at noon yesterday.
Each motorcyclist paid €10 to ride the circuit, with the money raised going to the Save Our Sons and Daughters (SOSAD) charity.
At around 1.40pm, Mr Smith was on the R157 Maynooth to Dunboyne road when he was involved in the accident with a truck.
Locals said that the section of road was "very bendy" but that weather conditions had not been particularly poor at the time.
Mr Smith's remains were removed to Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown.
Gardaí closed off the road for a forensic examination and it remained closed for a number of hours yesterday evening.
The truck driver was unhurt in the accident and there were no other injuries.
Slane councillor Wayne Harding (Fianna Fáil) paid tribute to Mr Smith, whom he knew from his school days in the town.
"He was a very, very affable guy. He will be sadly missed by everybody who knew him. He was very funny and great fun.
"My deepest sympathies go to all of his family," he said.
A friend of Mr Smith, who was also involved in the Poker Run, told the Irish Independent that he was devastated.
"I can't eat right now, I can't talk, he was a very close friend of mine," he said.
Other friends began to post tributes on social media, expressing their shock.
"Devastating news, Rory Smith, you have always been a wonderful, kind person. Only spoke with you and as always we just laughed our asses off. My God, life is so cruel and you, my friend, are gonna be so missed," one wrote.
"I can't believe it. So sad, he was always laughing and joking and in the best of form. So sorry for all his family," another said.
Friends described him as "a true gentleman" and "a pure gent".
Fianna Fáil councillor Damien O'Reilly, offered his condolences on behalf of the people of Dunboyne
Gardaí have appealed for witnesses to contact Ashbourne Garda station on (01) 801 0600 the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111 or any garda station.