A POPULAR pensioner was accidently knocked down by his son on Father's Day as he cycled on a quiet country road close to his home.
Emmanuel 'Manzer' Thackaberry (70), from Nurney Bog, Nurney, Co Kildare, was enjoying a cycle when he was struck by his son's car.
He was rushed to hospital and remains there after 12 days.
His son was travelling towards Mr Thackaberry's house to surprise him for Father's Day on June 20.
His large family have been waiting anxiously for news on his condition and a close relative of the pensioner confirmed to the Herald that "he is not out of the woods yet". The extent of his injuries are not known.
A local man described Mr Thackaberry as a "keen cyclist" who was "instantly recognisable" in the area.
"He's in a pretty bad condition. He suffered a lot of injuries in the accident," he said.
"I've heard his son is very cut up about what happened, everyone is praying he'll be okay."
The pensioner, affectionately known as 'Manzer', ran a grocery store in the village of Nurney along with his wife Breda, but had recently moved in to a house in the Nurney bog.
Mr Thackaberry is a father of eight, with four sons and four daughters. He also has many grandchildren.
A neighbour told the Herald how the 'bizarre' incident had shocked everyone in the village.
"Manzer is a lovely guy, everybody knows him and likes him. I really hope he pulls through, the whole village has their fingers crossed," the neighbour said.
"His son was coming up from the southeast to visit Manzer especially for Father's Day when this truly bizarre thing happened.
"Everyone is thinking of the family, there are a lot of them in it and they're a very close-knit clan.
"He used to live in the village opposite the school but had recently moved out to the bog to enjoy his retirement."
Mr Thackaberry recently celebrated his 70th birthday party surrounded by his family and friends. He has been cycling competitively on the Irish circuit for five decades and has had a lot of success in recent years riding as a senior.
He holds the distinction of having won the O'Beirne Cup in 1965 when he was cycling with the Brownstown Cycling club.
He also cycled against the greatest cyclists in Ireland and abroad while contesting the FBD Insurance Ras through the 60s, 70s and the 80s. He was a member of the Kildare team that competed in the Ras in 1975 and played a huge role in helping team-mate Paddy Flanagan secure victory.