Man attacked, his bicycle stolen on Grand Canal Greenway

IMAGE: The section of the Grand Canal Greenway where the attack happened (pictured with a work van on it before it officially opened).

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.”

He said he commutes on the route but was ambushed at one of the gates along the canal:

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:

https://twitter.com/mounir_/status/1204201629924438016?s=20

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.

6 Comments

  1. Sadly, I have had a similar experience at the same stile. As I made my way through each of the lad hit me with a stick and another punched me in the face causing my mouth to bleed and tooth to loosen. They tried taking my bike but I managed to get away. I rang the Garda who were sympathetic and sent officers down to the site but they also told me about the limitations of what they can do.
    They are well aware of this particular group but at that point there are 5 different escape routes once the Garda approach.
    I now only use the canal in the morning and cycle a longer alternative route with heavy traffic in the evenings.
    This happened to me in the summer of 2018 and since then I recognise more and more of my fellow commuters join me on the road to avoid this antisocial behaviour.

    It is such a shame that an incredible resource for the many is ruined by a few.

  2. The sad thing is that the authorities who control access to this wonderful resource,paid for by the public,feel that in the light of attacks like this they are right to restrict access.I would feel much safer on this route if all the gates were replaced by bollards and the whole area would benefit from more regular cycle mounted garda patrols.

  3. I totally agree. The gates controlled by South Dublin County Council are open to the extent you can go through at reasonable speed.
    I will write to DCC and ask for similar to be adopted along their section of the greenway.
    In my initial post I forgot to sympathise with Yaman. I’m really sorry this happened to you Yaman. I’m very happy that your faith in humanity and Dublin is not lost.

  4. When this route was designed and then opened the issue of anti social behaviour was widely raised. As a result extensive CCTV was strategically located along the route. Surely these culprits can be traced, and hopefully act as a deterrent to other potential ne’er do wells?
    Also we know that these restricted gates need to be improved in line with best guidance, ideally that supplied in the TII Rural Cyclewat Design – https://www.tiipublications.ie/library/DN-GEO-03047-02.pdf
    Needs to happen soon, or we will lose more regular cyclists!

  5. Most of the gates controlled by sdcc are half open,the one at Adamstown is locked.Now it is known that the gates increase the chance of being attacked will the authorities be liable for future attacks?

  6. I use the royal canal cycle way every day. Although I was never attacked there, I avoid it and use a longer and safer slternative in the evenings. A few times I was almost caught on a hook by a drunk fisherman or faced groups of teanagers riding motorbikes with lights off in yotal darkness.

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