Saturday 26 May 2018

Cyclist killed in Phoenix Park collision was 'loving family man'

Keen cyclist Bernard Tully (inset) lived next to the Phoenix Park
Keen cyclist Bernard Tully (inset) lived next to the Phoenix Park

Louise Roseingrave

A cyclist who collided with a pedestrian on the cycle path in the Phoenix Park died of his injuries in what is believed to be the first fatality of its kind in the country.

Bernard Tully (59), of Parkview, Castleknock, Dublin, was a former engineer, a keen cyclist and organ donor, an inquest into his death 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.

"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, speaking after the inquest.

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.

"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. When he had not returned by 9.30pm his wife became concerned and went to the park to look 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 the 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.

Gardaí recommended 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," Det Insp 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.

Irish Independent

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