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Irish cyclist (42) dies following accident in Thailand

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John Martyn (42) from Ballinderreen, Co Galway, who died in a cycling accident in Thailand on February 9.

John Martyn (42) from Ballinderreen, Co Galway, who died in a cycling accident in Thailand on February 9.

John Martyn (42) from Ballinderreen, Co Galway, who died in a cycling accident in Thailand on February 9.

AN IRISH man has died in a cycling accident in Thailand.

John Martyn (42) is believed to have collided with a vehicle while descending in mountainous terrain near Chiang Mai in the north of the country.

The accident happened after he extended a cycling holiday after travel restrictions were imposed due to the coronavirus outbreak in China.

From a farm family in Ballinderreen, Co Galway, he had been living in Beijing in recent years and worked as a counsellor in a school there.

The tragedy occurred on February 9. Emergency services came to the scene, but he died later in hospital.

It is understood he was not carrying identification at the time and his body was not formally identified until today.

Friends and fellow cyclists became concerned for his wellbeing after he did not return to his accommodation.

Prior to living in Beijing, Mr Martyn spent time living and working in Brazil, Mexico and Japan.

He was unmarried and was due to turn 43 next month.

A friend described him as "a free spirit" who was dearly loved by his parents PJ and Bernadette.

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His death is the second tragedy to befall the family after his brother Gerald died in an accident some years ago.

In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it was aware of the case and was providing consular assistance.

The department and the Kevin Bell Trust are assisting Mr Martyn’s family in getting his remains repatriated.

Earlier this week the local 55 Cycling Club in Chiang Mai issued an appeal for information to cyclists.

It said Mr Martyn had been due to check out of his hotel on February 16 but had not turned up.

In a post on its Facebook page, the club described Mr Martyn as "a well liked rider, friendly and an avid traveller".

The area is a popular cycle tourism destination, attracting visitors from around the world.


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