Thursday 19 July 2018

Cyclist died after colliding with pedestrian on cycle path in Phoenix Park, inquest hears

The tragic death of Bernard Tully (59) is believed to be the first fatality of its kind in the country
The tragic death of Bernard Tully (59) is believed to be the first fatality of its kind in the country

Louise Roseingrave

A CYCLIST who collided with a pedestrian on the cycle path in the Phoenix Park in Dublin died of his injuries, an inquest has heard.

The tragic death of Bernard Tully (59) of Parkview, Castleknock, Dublin 15 is believed to be the first fatality of its kind in the country.

Mr Tully was a former engineer, a keen cyclist, and an organ donor, the inquest heard.

His decision to carry an organ donor card saved five lives.

The father-of-six who lived next to the park went cycling there "most days", his wife Joan Curry said. She described her husband as a wonderful husband and father.

“He was a wonderful person, a family man, a loving father. He adored his children. The park was our back yard and he spent so much time there through the years, playing with the children,” Ms Curry said.

Bernard Tully, cyclist who died after colliding with a pedestrian in Phoenix Park
Bernard Tully, cyclist who died after colliding with a pedestrian in Phoenix Park

Mr Tully left his home to go out cycling at around 8pm on May 2 2016, a bank holiday.

“He went out before dinner. He would cycle most days in the park, up and down Chesterfield Avenue. He was a keen cyclist,” Ms Curry told Dublin Coroner’s Court.

The pair had been married for 20 years and referred to the Phoenix Park as their 'backyard', she said.

“He had worn a helmet in the past but more recently had taken to not wearing it. He was wearing a high visibility jacket,” she said. Mr Tully normally cycled for around 40 minutes and when he had not returned by 9.30pm his wife became concerned and went to the park to search for him.

The collision occurred at 8.50pm on a cycle path off Chesterfield Avenue, the inquest heard.

Witness Derek Brennan was out walking on the pedestrian path with his wife when he heard a bang.

“I saw someone in a yellow jacket projected into the air,” he said.

He saw another man lying injured on the grass verge. He called emergency services.

Mr Tully was rushed to Beaumont Hospital where he was pronounced dead two days later on May 4.

The cause of death was head injuries due to a cycling collision.

The pedestrian, a software engineer, was crossing the cycle lane from the pedestrian lane in order to exit the park.

“I started to cross over. I don’t remember a collision... the only memory I have is lying on the ground,” he said.

Collisions between cyclists and pedestrians in the Phoenix Park are common, Detective Inspector Peter Hayde told the court. The cycle lane is the outer lane running next to the road while the pedestrian lane is a separate path running inside and parallel.

Gardai recommended that the cycle and pedestrian paths be swapped in the interest of public safety.

“There have been other accidents. At the zoo for example, families place their children in immediate danger by stopping their cars and alighting onto the cycle path,” D.I. Hayde said.

Returning a verdict of accidental death, the jury recommended that the Office of Public Works and the Road Safety Authority be made aware of the issues raised.

Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane commended the family’s "generous gesture" to donate Mr Tully’s organs and said would notify the relevant authorities in the interest of public safety.

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