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Hundreds attend vigil for tragic cyclist 'mown down' in crash

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Friends of Thiago Cortes at the vigil by the Spire

Friends of Thiago Cortes at the vigil by the Spire

Friends of Thiago Cortes at the vigil by the Spire

Hundreds of people attended a vigil in Dublin city centre last night in memory of tragic Deliveroo driver Thiago Cortes (28).

Those at the vigil said they were calling for safer roads for delivery drivers in Dublin and for those responsible for Mr Cortes's death to be caught.

Demonstrators said that many Deliveroo drivers are unrecognised immigrant workers who face dangerous road conditions.

Tereza Dontas, Mr Cortes's fiancee, was joined by friends, cyclists and Deliveroo drivers at the demonstration on O'Connell street.

Mr Cortes, from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, died after he was struck by a car which failed to stop on North Wall Quay on Monday night.

Adriana Queiroz, a housemate of Mr Cortes, said they were hopeful that a garda investigation would find those who fled the scene.

"I am here because he was my friend. He was a good, good man," she said.

Friends of Mr Cortes said that while his partner's family were travelling over from Brazil, his mother did not have a passport so was unable to come.

Crowds prayed for Mr Cortes while those who knew him cried and embraced.

After the vigil, hundreds marched to the scene of the accident on North Wall Quay.

Dozens of Deliveroo drivers attended the protest in their uniforms. A number of delivery drivers, not affiliated with Deliveroo, also attended in solidarity.

Dangerous

Carina Jesus, a 24-year-old Brazilian woman who attended the vigil, said she had been working for Deliveroo for five months.

Ms Jesus, who is working part-time while she studies in Dublin, said that working as a Deliveroo driver was a popular job for foreign students or migrant workers. She said the job can be particularly dangerous in Dublin on weekends or during large tourist events.

"The roads are not safe. Sometimes cars will come right on top of you, far too near. It needs to be made safer, not just for Deliveroo cyclists but for all cyclists," Ms Jesus said.

Afraid

"Deliveroo is a popular job because it is more flexible for students. It's also an easier job to get for people who might not have paperwork. It needs to be safer."

One Deliveroo driver, who asked not to be named, said that he had been worried for a long time that one of his colleagues would die on the roads in Dublin.

"I was afraid that something like this would happen. The work is dangerous," he said.

Filipe Loyola, who has been working for Deliveroo for two years, was handing out copies of apology letters which were being given to the public by Deliveroo drivers.

The letter said delivery drivers wake up early, pray before leaving for work and deliver food while facing traffic, impatient drivers and freezing cold weather.

"Today I apologize. I couldn't get to your house. I got hit by a car, for no reason. I didn't have time to think or stop. The situation took my life from me and my family and your food tonight I couldn't deliver to you. I'm sorry," the letter said.

"Dedicated to Thiago Osorio Cortes, Brazilian, husband, friend, Deliveroo and to his family and friends and many others who are not seen or recognised out there."