Injured cyclist: 'My arm landed about 20ft away from me'
Eamonn McSweeney lost his arm in a cycling accident - and still he considers himself lucky.
The father of two from Churchtown, Dublin, is a keen cyclist. During a training session with his local cycling club in May 2013, Eamonn (47) was cycling downhill when his bike slipped on gravel.
"I was coming down a hill into Tallaght from Blessington," he said. "I was going around the corner and I could see that there was a quarry nearby, and I saw a slew of gravel on the road. I lost control of the bike and I came off and went on to the steel crash barrier on the edge of the road. I landed on my back and lifted my head to recalibrate to see where I was and where I landed. I went to lift both my arms to prop myself up and I saw straight away what I'd done to my arm. It was severed below my elbow. My arm landed about 20ft away."
Eamonn was told he was lucky he wasn't killed. "One of the guards at the scene contacted me afterwards and said if I hadn't hit the barrier, I would have landed at the bottom of a 40 or 50ft drop as a bag of bones. Those were his words to me. It could have been a lot worse. I could have hit that barrier in a number of ways - I could have broken my back, I could have broken my neck.
"A helmet is an absolute must. My helmet saved me - it split right down the middle in the accident. The only injury I had was my arm.
"I would be very conscious of safety and seeing and observing the behaviour of cyclists on the road. The odd time I see guys cycling without helmets, which I do not understand - I don't know what they're trying to prove."