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I feared the worst when SUV hit me, says protester

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Michael Cowley who was knocked down by a car at an anti-water charge protest in Dublin this week.

Michael Cowley who was knocked down by a car at an anti-water charge protest in Dublin this week.

Michael Cowley who was knocked down by a car at an anti-water charge protest in Dublin this week.

The man hit by an SUV during last week's water protests has told of the frightening moment he "feared the worst" after being struck.

Dubliner Michael Cowley (40) was hit by the vehicle during the anti-water charge demonstrations last Wednesday.

Mr Cowley had joined a group of people protesting at Butt Bridge beside Liberty Hall at approximately 3.30pm when the incident happened.

The group were demonstrating on the road, causing traffic to build up on the street. "We joined a crowd that were demonstrating just outside Liberty Hall, it was all in good spirits and there was no anger in the crowd or anything like that," he told the Herald.

"While we were doing this, a taxi decided to drive up on the footpath to skip the traffic, so we decided to move onto the walkway to stop other cars from doing the same," Mr Cowley said.

"However, a silver SUV tried to follow suit and also drove onto the footpath. It was about 10 or 15 meters back in the queue, and was driving straight towards us."

As the vehicle drove towards the group of four protesters standing on the footpath, Mr Cowley attempted to get out of the way but was struck by the SUV.

"I tried to move out of the way, but the car hit me on my left side before I could move and spun me onto the ground. I was lying on the ground and I feared the worst, because I couldn't move when I tried to get up," he said.

A video of the incident (inset left)also shows a man clinging onto the bonnet of the SUV as it drives off. Mr Cowley was taken to the Mater Hospital but was discharged that evening.

Despite not suffering any serious injuries, the hit flared up a previous spinal injury the victim had suffered, and he was told by doctors that it may take some time to fully recover.

A Garda spokesperson said the incident was being treated as a "road traffic accident".

hnews@herald.ie


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