A 20 years old man died instantly when the scrambler bike he was using – which had no brakes or lights – crashed into metal cabling in the grounds of NUIG last summer, an inquiry into his death heard.
The pathologist, who carried out a post mortem examination after the crash, said that the fatal injuries would not have been apparent to ambulance staff at the scene.
Martin McDonagh, of 12 Tulach Ard, Circular Road, was with his brother, Tommy, and other friends when the accident occurred at the NUIG playing fields in Dangan on July 31 last year.
The Inquest heard that Tommy had purchased the 250cc Kawasaki scrambler bike online from the website adverts.ie. It was priced at €150, but he had struck a deal with the seller to accept an exchange of motorbikes instead. He felt it had been a good move, he said, as his bike, a 150cc Lincon, would not even start.
He, his brother, and friends tried it out in their estate, and then went to nearby Carn Ard. However, they were concerned that they would be reported to Gardaí, so decided to go somewhere that they would not be seen.
They wheeled the bike over to Dangan Sportsground, and again they took turns driving the bike up and down the pitch.
Tommy recalled that it was dark when Martin took off again on another go, then he heard a noise, and saw the netting of the goalposts fall. His brother was lifeless on the ground.
He rang his father, Anthony, straight away. Anthony and his wife were in bed when they received the call and had not realised how serious the situation was. They contacted Gardaí, and went straight to the scene.
Martin’s mother, Mary, said that it took longer for the emergency services to arrive than her son who came from Ballybane, and she said they went through the motions in a bid to save him, but that she knew it was too late.
The paramedics actually happened to be on duty in Loughrea at the time, and did not arrive until 11.01pm. They parked at the barrier into the private grounds and made their way to the casualty on foot. They found Martin McDonagh with significant facial trauma.
Garda Sandra Waldron said that the whole area was in darkness but for the lights from the mobile phones of those at the scene. She noted a strong metal cable securing an ESB pole which she believed had caused Mr McDonagh’s fatal injuries.
He was taken to nearby UHG, where he was pronounced dead shortly after midnight on August 1.
PSV Inspector, Sgt Anthony McHugh, examined the motorbike later that day and stated that it had no registration plates, no lights, no brakes, and had numerous defects. He concluded that it was in a dangerously defective condition at the time of the accident.
Consultant Pathologist, Dr Aoife Canney, carried out the post mortem examination on the remains, and found that the blood/ethanol level in his system would have put him well over the legal limit to drive had he been on the public road.
She said that the victim had suffered multiple traumatic injuries to his head and agreed with the Coroner that injuries of this severity would lead to instantaneous death.
“A lot of the injuries were not apparent until I performed an internal examination,” she added.
Coroner for West Galway, Dr Ciaran MacLoughlin, returned a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence that death was due to cardiac arrest caused by severe traumatic brain injury in a motorcycle collision.
He recorded the date of death as July 31, even though Mr McDonagh had not actually been pronounced dead until the following day, and the place of death as NUIG sportsground.
He offered his sincere sympathies to the young man’s family and friends on the tragic and untimely circumstances of his death.
No end in sight for work on junction near Galway Clinic
From the Galway City Tribune – The City Council has declined to set a date for the completion of the Martin roundabout replacement near Galway Clinic – which was due to have opened more than a month ago.
In a statement, the Council would only confirm that the project was over 50 per cent completed.
“The project is now progressing to the surface type works including the installation of roadside kerbs, provision of footpaths and cycle lanes and road surfacing. These elements of the works will progress quite rapidly over the next month and there will be more of an appreciation for the progress on this project and the final layout will start to become apparent,” said a spokesperson.
“Ducting and preparatory works for the traffic signal installation is in progress and installation of the lights themselves will commence once the majority of surface works are complete. The final phase of the works will consist of significant landscaping of the junction.”
Work began on the junction in February, with an expected six-month schedule.
“There have been some delays to the programme as a result of industry-wide, supply-chain issues related to the war in Ukraine. There has also been further delays due to rock being encountered on site.
Rock was expected, however the hardness of the rock has been greater than anticipated and as such, has been slower to break and excavate on site,” according to the Council.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article and to support our journalism, see the October 7 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.
Galway Docklands Festival set to make a big splash in the city!
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The city’s link to the sea is to be celebrated later this month with the staging of the inaugural Galway Docklands Festival featuring a range of culinary treats, sea tours, demonstrations and talks.
Running from the weekend of Friday, October 21 to Sunday, October 23, the event has the aim of celebrating the city’s bond with the sea and the local waterways network.
Organised by the Galway Hooker Sailing Club, Galway Bay Boat Tours and Galway Bay Seafoods, the spectacle has a packed schedule of events – many of them free – through each of its three days.
The ‘pay events’ – ranging from €5 to €15 – include a coffee morning, beer and seafood sampling as well as an historical boat tour of the Claddagh and Galway Bay (€15).
Boatbuilder Cóilín Ó hIarnáin will be giving free demonstrations of his skills on each of the three days; Ciaran Oliver will give a walking tour of the seafront (€10); while there will also be a free Galway Hooker rigging demonstration.
For the more adventurous, there are supervised powerboard ‘taster spins’ (€10) while for ‘the foodies’ the Galway Bay Seafoods fish’n’chips, the Hooker beer and seafood sampling, as well as the family cooking demonstrations – all priced at €10 each – look set to be big attractions.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of this story, see the October 7 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.
Mayor told to stay away from homecoming over funding snub
From the Galway City Tribune – The Mayor of Galway was asked to stay away from homecoming celebrations for extreme adventurer Damian Browne, the Galway City Tribune understands.
Mayor Clodagh Higgins was told that she was not to attend the event at the Docks on Tuesday as there had been disappointment in the ‘Project Empower’ camp that funding had not been made available from Galway City Council.
The Galway City Tribune has learned that Project Empower, which is led by Voluntary Manager MacDara Hosty, applied for €30,000 in funding from the local authority’s Marketing Fund in September 2021, but was deemed ineligible.
A spokesperson for Galway City Council confirmed this week that Project Empower did not meet the criteria set down by the fund which seeks to support the holding of major events and festivals in the city.
In documents seen by this newspaper, Project Empower proposed that Galway City Council be the title partner at a cost of €30,000 plus VAT.
The Tribune understands that the Council’s refusal to provide this funding was at the root of the Mayor’s snub on Tuesday, which drew attention online as members of the public questioned her absence.
When contacted, the Mayor refused to be drawn on questions relating to the Marketing Fund, but said it was her intention to offer a Civic Reception to Damian Browne at the nearest opportunity.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of this story and extensive coverage of Damian Browne’s homecoming, see the October 7 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.