Dublin newspaper criticised for “deeply upsetting” bicycle helmet article

An article headlined “No helmet, no chance if you come a cropper on your bike” on Dublingazette.com was criticised this morning by the brother of a woman killed when cycling to work.

Dublin Gazette seems to have removed the article from its website but has so-far not replied to a request for comment.

The article mentioned Neil Fox, brother of Donna Fox, who was killed when cycling to work in 2016, but Neil said this morning that he had nothing to do with the article and called it “deeply upsetting”.

“My sister WAS wearing helmet & was killed instantly. I was not a part of this article at all,” he said.

Neil Fox has been active campaigning for better cycling infrastructure and recently sought others who have had collisions or near misses at the junction of Seville Place and Guild Street in Dublin, where his sister died.

On Twitter, he added: “It’s deeply upsetting especially the headline – given fact Donna WAS wearing a helmet at time she was killed- this article doesn’t say that while yet including my name and my sister’s. Completely wrong behaviour. #allocate4cycling.”

In a more recent case an inquest heard that assistant state pathologist Dr Margot Bolster said wearing a helmet probably wouldn’t have made a difference.

Writing in the British Medical Journal in 2013, Ben Goldacre, Wellcome, research fellow in epidemiology and author of Bad Science, and David Spiegelhalter, Winton professor for the public understanding of risk, highlighted research which shows Canadian legislation had minimal effect on serious head injuries and said that pro-helmet studies “are vulnerable to many methodological shortcomings.

Also see: Dutch-style redesign suggested for deadly Dublin Docklands junction

I am editor of IrishCycle.com and have reported on and commented on cycling in Ireland for over a decade. My background is in journalism -- I have a BA in Journalism from DCU and HDip in Print Journalism from BCFE. I wrote about cycling for national newspapers, and then started CyclingInDublin.com for overflow stories. Later the website was re-branded to reflect a more national focus.

2 Comments

  1. Good, the article was in poor taste and misleading. A good protection when cycling is good roadcraft. Better still, and best of all, is good infrastructure, and enforcement against menacing driver attitudes towards cyclists. Hopefully, some day, some how, Dublin will get cycling infrastructure even half as good as in the Netherlands. Helmets can be good in certain situations, but really are a bit of a red herring.

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