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Irish cyclist takes action for damages over crash

The Irish Times: Irish cyclist takes action for damages over crash

A TOP young Irish cyclist who quit competitive racing after suffering injuries when he collided with a French team’s service vehicle during an international race in Ireland has brought a High Court action for damages.

David Geary (27), Ballyhobart, Youghal, Co Cork has sued French cycling club Velo Club de Pomme; Frederic Rostaing, a cycling team service driver of Velo Club, La Pomme, Marseilles, France; the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland; and the Irish Cycling Federation.

Mr Geary claims, while cycling on the road at Glenmacnas, Co Wicklow on August 12th, 2000, he hit his head off the back of the service car’s windscreen and was left with multiple scarring and a back injury.

Opening the case yesterday, Anthony Barr SC, for Mr Geary, said the accident occurred during a stage of an under-18 Junior Tour of Ireland race, organised by the Irish Cycling Federation, which involved teams from Ireland, France, UK and the Netherlands.

Mr Geary was one of 90 to 100 riders in the event.

In evidence before the president of the High Court, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, Mr Geary, who was an Irish underage cycling champion, said he had attempted several comebacks to cycling but was unable to get back to the level required for those wishing to take part in competitive cycling.

In his action, Mr Geary alleges, during a descent in the Co Wicklow village of Laragh, he collided into the French team’s car, driven by Mr Rostaing.

He claims the car had, without warning, pulled out from a line of team service vehicles and stopped in the middle of the road in front of his bicycle, causing him to crash into it. He was thrown to the ground, sustained injuries and was taken to hospital.

He alleges the French club and Mr Rostaing failed to keep a proper lookout and used the car when only one brake light was working.

He also claims the Irish Cycling Federation (ICF) race commissaire (chief steward) should have stopped all the cars coming down the hill until all the cyclists had passed. The ICF, he further alleges, failed to provide a sufficient number of stewards and failed to take appropriate steps against the first two named defendants who, it is alleged, had been causing problems during the race.

The defendants have denied the claims and have also pleaded Mr Geary failed to keep a proper lookout, failed to have any due regard for his own safety and failed to follow any of the cyclists in front of him.

The case continues.