The Irish cycling community was shocked this weekend when one of our own, Noel McDermott, was killed while training.
Noel leaves behind a wife and three young children, making his death all the more tragic.
The 43-year-old Errigal CC man had taken up racing of late having originally come from a GAA background.
After his death, in a collision with a motorist on Friday afternoon, Errigal CC and St Eunan’s GAA Club both paid tribute to him.
They remembered “one of the good guys” and a man who contributed a lot to both clubs.
Above all, the clubs spoke of a really valued and respected friend and club mate who will be sorely missed.
A one-man tribute by fellow Donegal bike rider, Kevin O’Connor, has now very poignantly marked Noel’s death.
Kevin placed his bike helmet beside a candle just outside the door of his house in Galway; a simple but powerful gesture.
He is secretary of Galway Bay CC and told stickybottle one of his club’s members ended up on the bonnet of a car yesterday in what he called a lucky escape.
“The bike was destroyed and I’ve had a number of near misses too over the last year,” he said.
“And when I read about Noel; it’s just all very close to home,” added Kevin, originally from Ramelton in Donegal but now teaching in Galway.
“When I heard one of Noel’s children asking for daddy I cried. There are now kids left with no daddy; it’s very upsetting.”
While a Garda investigation is ongoing in the exact circumstances of Noel’s death, we know from the Garda he was in collision with a motorist driving a car.
Speaking generally about road safety and the near misses he has had himself, Kevin suggested simple gestures like marking Noel’s tragic death in the way he has may do some good.
“Educating motorists through empathy may be the way to move forward. We all have cycling in our blood, all our grandfathers travelled by bike.”
Gardai investigating tragic death
Noel was killed while cycling on the Magheroarty to Ardsbeg road close to Gortahork village just before 4pm pm Friday.
Garda and paramedics attended the crash scene, but sadly Noel was pronounced dead at the scene. He was the first cyclist to die on the roads this year.
The car involved remained on the stretch of road where the fatality took place as the Garda carried out a lengthy examination.
Originally from Hawthorn Heights, Letterkenny, Noel had settled with his family in Brinlack, Gortahork.
Posted: 1:10 pm January 29, 2018