A user of the Grand Canal Greenway was ambushed at a barrier along the route and his bicycle was stolen near Inchicore.
The Grand Canal Greenway from Inchicore to Adamstown in Dublin opened in 2010, but restrictive barriers blocked many types of bicycles and have limited its popularly for legitimate use. The attack this week happened at the Inchicore end of the route which is in the Dublin City Council area.
Authorities including Waterways Ireland, South Dublin Council, and Dublin City Council have over years been made aware of the issues the barrier make worse, not only in terms of access, but causing pinch points where users are targeted at. As IrishCycle.com has reported before, authorities have shown little apparent concern of users’ experiences that the barriers act as a focal point for anti-social behaviour and don’t stop horses or scramblers.
The attach happened despite Gardai starting to police the canal more heavily in recent months. The policing action is focused on stopping drug-dealing, vandalism, and intimidation of users of the greenway, although a local newspaper reported that it is mainly concentrated on the western end of the city section of the greenway.
Greenway user, Yaman Umuroğlu, said: “I was almost killed by a gang of lads armed with metal rods on the Grand Canal cycle path, ambushed at a squeeze stile. They made off with my e-bike but not before beating me up. See dents on helmet below.”
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I was almost killed by a gang of lads armed with metal rods on the Grand Canal cycle path, ambushed at a squeeze stile. They made off with my e-bike but not before beating me up. See dents on helmet below. @GrandCnlGrenway @IBIKEDublin @dublincycling @DubCityCouncil @IWAIreland pic.twitter.com/nvmYyDe4fT
— Yaman Umuroğlu (@maltanar) December 9, 2019
He said he commutes on the route but was ambushed at one of the gates along the canal:
For the record, I commute along the canal everyday and I look forward to it. There’s so many birds to see and it feels a lot safer than sharing the road with SUVs. Would be so much better without the stiles, although I heard they were put in place to prevent dirt bikes coming in. pic.twitter.com/7hkkS76A0D
— Yaman Umuroğlu (@maltanar) December 10, 2019
Umuroğlu said: “As I sat and bled next to the Blackhorse waiting for the Gardai, several cyclists stopped to offer me help, some waited with me. The driver of the taxi I ended up taking to St James’ refused to charge me. Ireland has its flaws, but a lack of kind people is not one of them.”
On twitter, he added: “I don’t want this to happen to anyone again. The cycle path itself is lovely and makes my commute to Citywest something to look forward to, but at night the squeeze stiles really do turn into ‘ambush spots’.”
Other greenway users say they have encounter attacks at the same spot: