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Sunday 24 March 2019

Cyclists urged to exercise caution following death of Louise Butler

Louise Butler, who died following an accident in south Dublin.
Louise Butler, who died following an accident in south Dublin.

CYCLISTS are being urged to exercise caution on the roads following the death of Louise Butler (28) in South Dublin.

A total of four cyclists have been killed on Irish roads so far this year.

In the 24 hour period yesterday, three people lost their lives on Irish roads.

Cyclist Louise was involved in a collision with an articulated lorry.

Last night, a woman in her fifties died after her moped collided with a car, while

There have been a total of 121 traffic fatalities so far this year which also includes pedestrians, drivers and motorcyclists with ten of the fatalities occurring this month.

Half of all cyclists are hit by private cars and 30 per cent are hit by heavy goods vehicles according to Communications Officer of the Road Safety Authority Brian Farrell.

Two out of five of cyclists are killed or seriously injured at an intersection.

‘‘Drivers need to take special care and understand that cyclists are entitled to road space as much as any other vehicle on the road. It’s important that drivers anticipate cyclists at blind spots and to give at least a 1.5m clearance when overtaking a cyclist,’’ he said.

‘‘At the same time, cyclists have a duty of care and must be aware that they are vulnerable road users. They must ensure that their bike is in good working order and they are mindful of other road users, particularly when cycling near parked cars and heavy vehicles,’’ he added.

Cyclists should always wear luminous clothing such as hi-vis vests, fluorscent armbands and reflective belts so that other vehicles can see the cyclist clearly.

Brakes should work properly and tyres should be inflated to the right pressure.

‘‘It’s also vital that cyclists give the proper signals, especially when they are in heavy traffic,’’ he said.

Those travelling on bikes should always keep to the left and look behind and give the proper signal before moving off, changing lanes or making a turn.

Yesterday Ms Butler (28) was cycling to the Avoca Food Market and Salt Cafe in Monkstown, where she had worked for almost two years.

There was widespread traffic chaos in Blackrock after the incident, which happened at about 8.45am at Frascati Road and Carysfort Avenue.

Ms Butler was taken to St Vincent's Hospital but died despite frantic efforts to save her life.

Her grieving family live in the Glen of Imaal in Co Wicklow. She is survived by her father Christopher and mother Ann, brothers Shane and Kevin and sister Katie.

An Avoca spokeswoman told the Irish Independent that they decided to close the store early after news filtered through that Louise had died from her injuries.

"It happened this morning on her way to work. We believe it was her usual routine to cycle to work. She had been with us in the cafe from the beginning when we first opened in November 2011," the spokeswoman said.

"She was a terrific worker and extremely well liked. She was a super person and also such a lovely-looking girl. It's just such a tragedy for all concerned.

"We closed the cafe. The staff are all in such shock. We didn't hear that she had died because she was taken to hospital and they didn't announce that she had died until this afternoon. Her parents are in shock, it's just frightful."

Louise's uncle, Pat Butler, said: "About three or four years ago she turned over her car on the N81 and just missed a telegraph pole by inches. She survived that accident."

He added: "You couldn't have met a nicer lady.

"She was just down-to-earth, hard-working and an independent young lady.

"She had travelled the world and wasn't that long back from Australia. She had been everywhere – the Far East, Cambodia and Vietnam.

"She cycled to work every day and had a degree in event management. She really enjoyed life."

Local councillor Victor Boyhan said that he had seen the aftermath of the collision: "I was down there this morning and it was a very large lorry. It's usually a very quiet stretch of road, there are a lot of traffic lights on it.

"Anyone with information is asked to contact Blackrock Garda Station on 01 666 5200 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666111.

Mark O'Regan and Aishling Phelan

Irish Independent

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