Thursday 22 February 2018

Boy's fatal fall off bike was 'freak accident'

Louise Roseingrave

A SCHOOLBOY died in a "tragic freak accident" after he sustained a fatal injury during a fall from his bike.

Roan Harrington (8), from Ballydonegan, Allihies, west Cork, died after cycling less than half a mile from his home on a sunny Sunday evening on August 28, 2011.

He was due to start second class at Cahermore NS the next day. An inquest into his death yesterday heard how one side of the handlebar pinned his liver in "exactly the wrong spot".

Roan and his two older brothers, Euan (12) and Oran (10), had brought their four dogs for a run when the accident happened shortly after 4.30pm.

In a statement, his brother Euan told how their mother had asked them to take the dogs out. The boys took the dogs to a friend's house and were on their way to let them off for a run. They were cycling at normal speed, Euan said, when they stopped at a bridge and noticed their little brother Roan was missing.

Julie Cooper, who lives in the UK but has a holiday home in Allihies, discovered Roan lying "entangled in a bike" on the road.

In her statement she told how Roan was able to speak to her clearly. He said: "I've fallen off my bike," before lifting his shirt to show his injury.

When his eyes started to roll back, she realised his injury was serious. Not long after, he began to lose consciousness.

An ambulance, neighbours and the boy's mother, Margaret, were called, while Roan's two brothers came on the scene.


Ms Cooper told in her statement how as Roan's breathing became laboured and irregular, his brother Euan laid down beside him and held him.

The young boy was pronounced dead on the way to Bantry Hospital.

The bike was examined at Bandon garda station and found to be in good working order, though the brakes were "not 100pc", according to Sergeant Fachtna O'Donovan.

He described the death of the youngster as a "very tragic freak accident".

Returning a verdict of accidental death, Coroner Frank O'Connell said the case was one of the "saddest he had come across" and extended his sympathies to Roan's family and specifically to his two brothers.

Irish Independent

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