Teen fighting for life after fall from horse
A TEENAGE girl was fighting for her life last night after she was thrown from her horse while taking part in a hunt.
Patricia Lynch (17), from Newmarket-on-Fergus, Co Clare, sustained serious injuries after she fell from her horse while jumping a wall as part of an arranged hunt on Sunday.
Emergency services were immediately alerted following the incident at Crusheen, Co Clare, and Patricia was rushed by ambulance to University Hospital Galway. She was partaking in the Turkey Trotters hunt when the accident occurred.
The injured girl's family kept a bedside vigil at the hospital throughout yesterday as medics tended to her.
Patricia was wearing a helmet and body protector when she fell from her horse at the wall in what has been called "a very tragic accident".
"It is a very sad thing, that is all. She was out doing what she loved and that is what happened. She loved to be taking part in the hunt," a family friend said last night.
The injured girl, from Latoon, Newmarket-on-Fergus, is a Leaving Certificate student at St Flannan's College in Ennis and is the youngest daughter of Pat and Ida Lynch.
Patricia, a keen horse enthusiast, had missed recent hunts due to her secondary school studies.
An estimated 80 participants were taking part in the Crusheen hunt, which began at around 2pm.
The event had been due to end just before the accident occurred at what is described as a "very low wall".
Other riders who were near Patricia rushed to her aid before emergency services arrived.
The Lynch family are a very-well known and highly regarded family throughout the Clare region.
Patricia's father is a horse trainer in the Clare area and is also a member of the Clare hunt. Patricia has three older sisters, Pam, Sarah and Jennifer. All are said to be devastated.
Her classmates and friends learnt of Patricia's accident on Sunday evening and yesterday.
Close neighbour to the Lynch family and Clare County Councillor Pat McMahon said the thoughts of everyone in the Newmarket-on-Fergus area and in the surrounding regions were with Patricia's family.
"The family would be well known as regards their involvement with horses. Her father Pat is a highly sought-after trainer.
"Everyone would know the Lynch family and having to deal with this coming up to Christmas is very sad for her parents," he said.
A hospital spokesman said Patricia was in a "critical condition" yesterday.
The 'Turkey Trotters' hunt takes place every Sunday and is generally made up of participants from the Clare and Galway region. It does not involve dogs or hunting animals. The Health and Safety Authority confirmed it did not investigate incidents tat social or sporting events.