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Mum's plea after son killed in cycle horror

PLEASE check your child's safety when they are out cycling.

That was the plea from a heartbroken mother following the inquest into the death of her 11-year-old son, who died in a road accident last year.

Maurice Cahill (11) died after he collided with an Isuzu Jeep in south Limerick while out cycling on June 24 last year.

He had just left a neighbour's home where he was playing with friends.

While acknowledging that her neighbours and friends -- where Maurice was playing -- were in no way neglectful to her son, Marian Wallis, from Ardpatrick, Co Limerick, said safety was "paramount" when it came to children cycling in their home neighbourhoods.

The inquest into Maurice's death was held in Limerick yesterday.

"We would like to make it very clear that the other two families involved today are our neighbours and our friends and we attribute no blame whatsoever to anybody," Marian said.

While Maurice was not wearing a safety helmet when he collided with the oncoming vehicle on the Ardpatrick to Ballyhea road, Dr Elizabeth Mulcahy -- who performed an autopsy on the boy -- said a helmet would not have made any difference in the accident.

The inquest heard that the fifth-class pupil died from multiple chest and abdominal injuries, including a tear of the ascending aorta.

Ms Wallis said it should be mandatory that all children wear protective clothing when cycling and necessary checks made to their bikes.

"All bicycles should be checked beforehand. I am a teacher myself and I feel there should be adequate supervision," she said.

Ger Hussey told the jury that Maurice was cycling an old bicycle belonging to a friend.

Ms Wallis was also critical of the inquest process.

"It took 53 weeks to find out how our son died," she said.

"We find it very difficult to understand that when our son died ... there were no statements taken from any witnesses for many months -- in fact some of the statements are dated in October and November," Ms Wallis said.

She added that Maurice's family could not understand why the Public Service Vehicle Inspector who examined the scene of the accident was not obliged to be at the inquest to give evidence.

hnews@herald.ie


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