Father-of-three who helped raise €1.6m for Down Syndrome Ireland dies in crash during annual fundraiser
A married father-of-three who has helped raise some €1.6m for Down Syndrome Ireland (DSI) died today during a fundraiser for the charity.
The man, who has been named locally as Aidan Lynam, was well known within DSI.
It's understood Mr Lynam, who was aged 44 and from Lucan in Dublin, was participating in the 'Rev-up4DSI', an annual fundraising event for Down Syndrome Ireland and the "brainchild" of Mr Lynam.
DSI said Mr Lynam and his colleagues within the Irish motorcyclist community have helped raise a staggering €1.6m for the organisation over the last decade.
The tragedy happened in Kilkee, Co Clare, shortly after midday today.
It's understood Mr Lynam's motorbike was involved in a collision with a car - the driver of the second vehicle was not injured.
Gardai have launched an investigation.
Down Syndrome Ireland issued a statement in which they paid tribute to Mr Lynam.
"It is with inexpressible grief that we learned of the death today of our dear friend and colleague Aidan Lynam," the statement read.
"Aidan’s untimely death occurred in Clare while participating in our annual motorcycle fundraiser Rev-up4DSI.
"Rev-up4DSI was the brainchild of Aidan’s, and poignantly this year marked the 10th anniversary of this event, which through Aidan and his fellow motorcyclists has raised over €1.6 million for Down Syndrome Ireland.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with our dear friend and colleague, his wife Nikki and their three children, Robyn, Jake and Harry and all his loved ones.
"Aidan was a much loved and valued senior member of our team at Down Syndrome Ireland, committed to his family and his work and all of our hearts are simply broken as we struggle to come to terms with this great loss."
Comedian PJ Gallagher, who has participated in a number of fundraising events for DSI, also paid tribute, posting a picture of himself with Mr Lynam to his Twitter account.
"This guy only ever called me to help other people. I'm gonna miss you buddy. Wish there was more like you," PJ wrote.
PJ is just one of the many people to pay tribute to Mr Lynam on Twitter this evening.
Mr Lynam played an active role in DSI.
In August 2011, he appeared in a feature article as a parent of a child with Down Syndrome. The article was published in the 'Irish Independent'.
He recalled how people were afraid to congratulate him on the birth of his daughter Robyn in 2005.
"They were afraid of upsetting us by saying the wrong thing so they said nothing. It was hard because we did really need people.
"A lot of people ask me now, what do you say to parents who have had a baby with Down syndrome? The answer is 'congratulations'. You say everything you would normally say," he said.
Separately, some four fire engines attended the scene a serious accident on the M7 at Nenagh at approximately 2pm today.
The accident occurred northbound just before Junction 26 Nenagh-West.
There have been no fatalities reported.
More to follow