Principal Padraic was regarded as exemplary leader

By Louise Roseingrave

A cyclist died from traumatic head injuries following a collision with a vehicle within yards of his home.

Pádraic Carney (53) of Butterfield Close, Rathfarnham, was cycling along Butterfield Park on the morning of June 20 2017 when the incident happened at 8.05am.

Padraic Carney principal St Louis Senior Primary School Rathmines

School prinicpal Pádraic Carney

Mr Carney, a father of three, Principal of St Louis Senior School, Rathmines, and former Principal of Scoil Aine Naofa in Lucan, was described as a ‘highly regarded exemplary leader’ at an inquest into his death.

Mr Carney was approaching the junction of Butterfield Park and Butterfield Close when his Raleigh bicycle came into contact with a passing car.

There were no eyewitnesses to the collision, Dublin Coroner’s Court heard.

CCTV footage of the event was obscured by a rose bush at a critical moment, Garda Gareth Vance said. He interviewed the driver of the car William Harrington (then aged 77) at the scene.

He said Mr Harrington and his wife Joan were travelling from their home at Boden Park to Heuston Station that morning and the couple were familiar with the road.

“He told me he saw the cyclist ahead of him. He told me he saw the cyclist turn his head but the cyclist did not alter his position on the road,” Garda Vance said.

The man’s wife, a front seat passenger heard a bang and he realised the car had collided with the bicycle as they passed. The cyclist was not wearing a helmet or high visibility clothing, the court heard.

Forensic Collision Investigator Garda John Culleton said both the car and the bicycle were travelling in the same direction at a similar speed along Butterfield Park when the collision occurred.

“Both parties were travelling alongside and either could have encroached on the other. One moved towards the other and contact was made.

“I cannot say who made the contact between these vehicles. There was contact between both parties but I can’t say who made the manoeuvre that resulted in contact,” Garda Culleton said.

Mr Carney was rushed to Tallaght Hospital by ambulance and later transferred to Beaumont Hospital. Scans revealed he suffered a traumatic head injury with a fractured skull and swelling of the brain.

He passed away that evening at 9.26pm. Pathologist Dr Francesca Brett gave the cause of death as severe cerebral trauma due to injuries sustained in the collision.

The jury of three women and three men returned a verdict of accidental death and made a recommendation that all cyclists wear safety helmets.

Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane extended her sympathy to the family on their loss.

“This has been a devastating loss, it was such an unexpected and tragic thing that occurred. He was regarded very highly and was an exemplary leader. As Headmaster of St Louis Senior School, he has been a great loss to that community also,” the coroner said.

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