herald

Tuesday 25 July 2017

Tributes to 'charming' school principal (53) killed in cycling crash

School principal Padraic Carney who died in a cycling accident while riding to St Louis Senior Primary School on Monday morning
School principal Padraic Carney who died in a cycling accident while riding to St Louis Senior Primary School on Monday morning

Devastated teachers and staff have paid tribute to a gifted and respected school principal killed while cycling to school.

Padraic Carney (53), from Rathfarnham, was on his way to St Louis Senior Primary School in Rathmines when his bike and a car collided on Butterfield Park, close to his home.

Local residents and builders working on a house nearby who witnessed the crash at 8.10am on Monday, rushed to his aid and assisted until the emergency services arrived.

However, Mr Carney died after being taken by ambulance to Tallaght Hospital.

The school's board of management chairperson Jake Byrne, said the St Louis community was in shock at the death of its much-loved principal.

Infectious

He described it as "a terrible tragedy for Padraic's immediate and extended family, his wide circle of friends and the school community".

"Padraic was a wonderful leader in the school," he said.

"His infectious enthusiasm for the job of teaching children and his warm and charming personality made him most popular with pupils, parents, staff and all who came to know him in his job."

Offers of support have been pouring into the school, which has implemented its critical incident management plan.

Psychologists from the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) have been supporting and advising the teachers and the school community in their efforts to assist the pupils in dealing with the tragic event.

Mr Byrne said Mr Carney's family has requested that its need for privacy "at this sad and difficult time be respected".

The circumstances of the crash are currently being investigated by gardai at Rathfarnham Garda Station.

The incident is being treated as a tragic accident. The elderly driver of the vehicle involved was uninjured but shaken by the crash.

A special table was set up in a hallway of the school yesterday where pupils and staff left flowers and recorded their memories of Mr Carney, who is the 11th cyclist to be killed on Ireland's roads this year.

On February 12, Tonya McEvoy (34), also from Rathfarnham, became the first cycling victim of 2017 when she was killed during a cycling event at Rathcoffey in Co Kildare.

March was a black month for pedal bikers when four were killed in separate accidents.

Daragh Ryan was killed while cycling in Conyngham Road in Dublin City on March 12 and Paul Hannon died in an accident on Patrick Street on March 24, also in the capital.

Des Butler, who was in his 50s, was killed in Shannon on March 26.

Tragic

A day later Luby Ramirez lost her life when she was hit by a truck while cycling on Templeville Road in south Dublin.

In April a man in his 60s, Rob Ball, died in an accident in Skibbereen in Co Cork.

May was another tragic month, with Annette Mannix being killed in Killarney, Donal O'Brien dying after an accident in Ballincollig in Cork, United States visitor Janet Price being killed in an accident at the Gap of Dunloe in Co Kerry, and Patrick McHale dying in Ballina, Co Mayo.

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