10 people killed while cycling on Irish roads in 2016

— Number of deaths marginally above ten-year average
— Most deaths on rural national and regional roads 

Seven of the ten fatal cycling collisions on roads in the Republic of Ireland in 2016 involved a motorist, and 70% of these collisions happened on high speed rural areas, research undertaken by IrishCycle.com has found.

Nearly all of the deaths in 2016 were on national or regional roads, while just one was on a local road and one in the Phoenix Park.

Of the three deaths which we have counted as not involving a motorist: One death involved a collision with a pedestrian in the Phoenix Park, another was single-vehicle collision where a tourist touring cyclist lost control cycling downhill in Co Kerry, and, at the time of publication, there was one collision where it is unclear if a motorist was involved or not.

Of seven collisions involving motorists, six were reported to be cars of some type (including at least one SUV) and one involved a truck, which was turning left.

Last year the Road Safety Authority released a list of collisions outlining the date, county, and vehicles involved in fatal collisions in 2015, but yesterday the authority refused to release a similar list for 2016.

Annette Regan, a spokeswoman for the Road Safety Authority, said: “The RSA reports on statistics from collisions at an aggregate level. We are not in a position to give specific narratives for incidents that occurred on specific dates as this facilitates the identification of individuals.”

The RSA said that as of December 31 , there were ten cyclist fatalities in 2016 — three of the fatalities occurred in Louth, two occurred in each of Dublin and Cork, and one fatality occurred in each of Kerry, Offaly and Westmeath.

Two of the deaths included boys under 15, while eight of the ten fatalities were male.

Based on Garda press releases and newspaper articles (links included where relevant), the following is an outline of the ten cycling deaths in 2016:

  • March 8: 18-year-old Stefan Cooper died in a collision with a driver of a car when he was cycling near Rosscarberry, Co Cork.
  • April 23: 41-year-old Colin Torpey died after a collision in the early hours on Saturday morning at Birch’s Lane, Blackrock, Co Louth near the entrance to Dundalk Golf Club.
  • May 2: 59-year-old Bernard Tully died in hospital after a collision with a pedestrian on a cycle path in the Phoenix Park, Dublin.
  • June 7: 78-year-old Paddy Cadogan died in a collision with a 4X4 parked on the hard shoulder of the dual carriageway on the Ballincollig bypass. The Evening Echo reported: “It’s understood the man driving the vehicle he crashed into had pulled onto the hard shoulder moments earlier to ask for directions”.
  • June 9: 83-year-old John Byrne died in hospital eight days after a collision with a driver of a car in Dundalk. According to Talk of the Town, a news website, a 22-year-old man questioned by Gardaí about the matter.
  • August 21: 13-year-old Dan Roche died in hospital from injuries he suffered when he was knocked off his bicycle in a collision with a car driver on a rural section of the Slane to Drogheda road on a Sunday evening.
  • August 22: A woman in her 30s died in a single-vehicle collision on the Dingle to Tralee Road in Co Kerry as she was cycling down the Conor Pass. The woman was a tourist who was cycling with her boyfriend.
  • September 1: 11-year-old Tim Ross from Moate, Co Westmeath, was killed when cycling to school when he in was in a collision with a driver of a car on a wide rural road in Offaly.
  • September 6: 30-year-old Donna Fox was killed at the junction of Seville Place, Guild Street and Sheriff Street in Dublin in a collision with a truck turning left when she was cycling straight ahead.
  • November 15: 73-year-old Patrick ‘PJ’ McDonnell was killed in a collision with a driver of a car on the N52, Mullingar to Kells road around 6.4km north of Mullingar, Co Westmeath.

The ten cycling deaths on roads last year is marginally above the average number of cycling death in the last ten years — the years 2010 and 2013 had only five deaths each but unfortunately this lower number of deaths has yet to be established as a trend.

The trend for the number of cycling deaths in Dublin, however, has remained very low. There was an average of under two deaths per year in all of County Dublin in the last ten years, and an average of 1.6 deaths per year in the Dublin City administrative area, where the largest numbers of commuters cycle.

This article is part of wider research by IrishCycle.com looking at the trends of cycling collisions — including building a databases containing collision details and outcomes from count and coroners courts cases. This article and the three linked to below mainly outline what has happened in single years, while future articles will look at mid and longer-term trends. Data on by year can be found at irishcycle.com/collisions.

Previous years:

3 Comments

  1. Is it worth asking An Gardaí if they have any stats on prosecutions/investigations/convictions of bike death collisions?

  2. My plan is to collect this data via court reports etc and follow up on each death for the last few year — but this will take time.

  3. Cian, if you need a hand going through data, I’d be happy to put a few hours into it.

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