A WELL-known Co Clare businessman died tragically in a road crash yesterday as he cycled along the hard shoulder of a dual-carriageway.
A father-of-four, who was named locally last night as Howard Flannery (39) from Ennis, was involved in charity work and businesses in the county.
The crash occurred as the keen cyclist and his friend pedalled along the main N18 Shannon to Ennis dual-carriageway around 2.30pm yesterday. His cycling companion had a lucky escape in the collision.
Another life was also lost on Irish roads over the June Bank Holiday weekend.
The man who died in a collision on the main Dublin to Kells Road, the N3, on Saturday has been named as Patrick Fitzsimons (41) from Arbraccan, Navan in Co Meath.
Gardai have been clamping down on drink-driving and speeding with random checkpoints throughout the country. Tragically seven people lost their lives in crashes during the June Bank Holiday weekend last year. Gardai at Newmarket-on-Fergus examining the death of Mr Flannery said that it appeared the victim and a friend were cycling two abreast in the hard shoulder when the victim was struck by the vehicle.
"Ironically, the man who died was cycling on the inside, closest to the grass verge, while the other cyclist who was on the outside was not hurt."
A single cycling shoe, the shell of a cycling helmet and debris from the vehicle could be seen in the grass verge and in the hard shoulder of the road. The victim is understood to have been dragged between 40 and 50 metres before coming to rest in the grass verge.
The maroon Galway registered Nissan X-Trail, which was involved in the collision with Mr Flannery, who was a successful boxer in his 20s, came to a stop a further 30 metres up the hard shoulder.
The bonnet of the car was buckled back on top of the windscreen while the driver is understood to have been unconscious for a time after the collision. The driver of the four-wheel drive vehicle involved in the crash was taken to hospital with minor injuries and shock.
Gardai, who appealed for witnesses, were last night hoping to interview the driver as part of their investigation. Efforts to revive Mr Flannery at the scene failed, and he was pronounced dead at the Mid Western Regional Hospital in Ennis a short time later.
One close friend said last night: "For all his success and wealth, Howard was a great man."
Meanwhile, a middle-aged Polish man was killed last night after the car he was driving went out of control and crashed into a ditch in Co Cork.
The 49-year-old man was the sole occupant of the Nissan Primera that went out of control between Clondrohid and Ballyvourney near Macroom at approximately 6.15 pm last night.