Wednesday 25 April 2018

Fitzpatrick suffers broken hip during charity cycle fall

Kieran Herr takes a group shot before the start of the ‘16th Man 100k Cycle’ to Mullingar.
Kieran Herr takes a group shot before the start of the ‘16th Man 100k Cycle’ to Mullingar.

Anne Campbell

FINE Gael TD Peter Fitzpatrick has returned home to Dundalk following an accident on a charity cycle on Saturday which saw him badly break his hip.

The Louth deputy was one of around 90 former footballers and sportspeople who joined RTE pundit Joe Brolly for the cycle from Dundalk to Mullingar ahead of the Louth game against Westmeath on Saturday evening.

A number of people were raising funds for different charities, including the Opt for Life organ donor organisation that Brolly is closely associated with.

Around 25km outside Mullingar, the front wheel of Deputy Fitzpatrick's bike hit the one in front of him and he was thrown onto the opposite side of the road. The pack of 14 cyclists who were with him immediately stopped and halted traffic in both directions helping to avoid a serious collision.

Deputy Fitzpatrick was taken initially to Mullingar General Hospital then transferred to the region's orthopedic unit at Tullamore where he underwent a two-hour operation on Sunday morning to insert pins into his hip.

It is hoped that these will assist in fusing the break, which happened close to the ball of the hip, meaning a replacement operation would be avoided.

The famously fit and active TD faces eight weeks of not being able to put his foot on the ground, but is determined to follow doctors' orders so he can make a full recovery.

'I can't drive or anything for the next eight weeks and they have told me that if it doesn't knit properly, I could be facing a hip replacement.

'The accident was entirely my fault and I tipped the bike in front of me. I was thrown across the road and my whole life flashed in front of me before I hit the ground. It was the most painful thing I have ever experienced in my life and it is difficult to move.

'The last time anything like this happened was when I broke my leg playing football in 1986. I can't say enough good things about the hospitals in Mullingar and Tullamore. I got great treatment straight away.

'The doctors have said to me that if I do what they tell me, I will make a full recovery. I want to say thanks to everyone, hundreds and hundreds of people, who have contacted me and the office to offer their help and to wish me well'.

The Argus