Wednesday 18 July 2018

'A wonderful father, he died doing what he loved' - son's tribute to dad who passed away during charity cycle

"Gerry, died doing something he loved, surrounded by people he loved"
Gerry Tobin pictured during the Tour de Gaggs 2018 on Saturday
Kathy Armstrong

Kathy Armstrong

A father who tragically "died doing what he loved" when he passed away suddenly during a charity cycle has been remembered as a "true gentleman" by his son.

Gerry Tobin (58) was taking part in an annual cycle from Cork to Roscommon on Saturday afternoon to raise money for Epilepsy Ireland when he suffered a suspected heart attack.

Gerry, who was from Clonsilla, Dublin, is survived by his wife Mariea, sons Derek and Mark and extended family and friends.

Mariea and Mark were doing the cycle too and were just slightly further ahead than Gerry when he collapsed on the old N18 Ennis to Galway Road.

Mark explained to Independent.ie that they have done the "Tour de Gaggs" every year in memory of their late friend, Alan "Gaggs" Gallagher, who died suddenly in 2009.

He said: "Dad, Mam and I were taking part in the Tour de Gaggs, after 170km of Day 1, it seems he took a heart attack and died pretty instantly.

Gerry Tobin pictured during the Tour de Gaggs 2018 on Saturday
Gerry Tobin pictured during the Tour de Gaggs 2018 on Saturday

"Our friends were with him less than a minute after he came off the bike and heroically tried to save him.

"Gerry, died doing something he loved, surrounded by people he loved."

Friends performed CPR at the scene while they waited for the emergency services to arrive, he was then brought by ambulance to the University Hospital Limerick, where he was later pronounced dead.

Mark said that their devastated family are determined to carry on with Gerry's legacy by raising money for Epilepsy Ireland.

"We know we'll struggle without him but we'll do our best to celebrate him in the way he deserves.

"He was a wonderful father, an amazing husband and a great friend to everyone he knew."

The "Tour de Gaggs 2018" Everyday Hero online fundraising page has raised more than €4,000 for Epilepsy Ireland, and Mark says "the support has been nothing short of amazing."

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