Sunday 24 February 2019

'He died doing what he loved' - tragic charity cyclist's family

Gerry Tobin collapsed during a cycle ride in aid of Epilepsy Ireland
Gerry Tobin collapsed during a cycle ride in aid of Epilepsy Ireland

A Dublin dad who tragically "died doing what he loved" when he passed away suddenly during a charity cycle ride has been remembered as a "true gentleman" by his son.

Gerry Tobin (58) was taking part in an annual cycle ride from Cork to Gort, Co Galway, last Saturday afternoon to raise money for Epilepsy Ireland when he suffered a suspected heart attack.

Gerry, who was from Clonsilla, Dublin, is survived by his wife Mariea, sons Derek and Mark, and extended family and friends.

Mariea and Mark were doing the charity bike ride too and were just slightly further ahead than Gerry when he collapsed on the old N18 Ennis to Galway Road.

Mark explained that they have done the "Tour de Gaggs" every year in memory of their late friend, Alan 'Gaggs' Gallagher, who died suddenly in 2009.

"Dad, Mam and I were taking part in the Tour de Gaggs. After 170km of day one, it seems he took a heart attack and died pretty instantly," he said.

"Our friends were with him less than a minute after he came off the bike and heroically tried to save him.

"Gerry died doing something he loved, surrounded by people he loved."

Friends performed CPR at the scene while they waited for the emergency services to arrive.

He was then brought by ambulance to the University Hospital Limerick, where he was later pronounced dead.


Mark said that their devastated family is determined to carry on Gerry's legacy by continuing to raise money for Epilepsy Ireland.

"We know we'll struggle without him but we'll do our best to celebrate him in the way he deserves," he said.

"He was a wonderful father, an amazing husband and a great friend to everyone he knew."

The Tour de Gaggs 2018 Everyday Hero online fundraising page has so far raised more than €4,000 for Epilepsy Ireland, and Mark says "the support has been nothing short of amazing".

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