'Some good has to come from it', says daughter of hit-and-run victim

'Some good has to come from it', says daughter of hit-and-run victim
Garda Superintendent Con O Donohue with Neil Fox whose sister Donna was killed by a truck when she was cycling three years ago with Chief Executive Officer, RSA Moyagh Murdock and Liz O’Donnell, Chairperson, RSA. Pic: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Lisa Maher believes there has to be a reason why her father died in a hit-and-run three years ago.

“Some good has to come from it. I just can't let him go and just accept it,” said Lisa when she helped the Road Safety Authority launch World Day of Remembrance for road traffic victims in Dublin yesterday.

Eugene, a 62-year-old father of two from Dublin, was killed as he crossed the Clontarf Road on June 15, 2015.

Mr Maher had cycled from his home in Drumcondra to Dollymount Strand and was heading home when the accident happened.

He got off his bike to cross the road at the junction near the West Wood Gym when a car travelling at 70 kilometres an hour broke a red light and struck him.

Mr Maher was killed by Christopher Coleman, who had 15 previous convictions, including four for motoring offences.

In June 2016, Coleman received a two and a half year sentence, which was appealed as unduly lenient by the Director of Public Prosecutions.

In February 2017 the Court of Appeal resentenced Coleman to six years' imprisonment with the final two years and nine months suspended.

Mr Maher's wife, Marie, said they want other people to know that there are families behind road traffic statistics and there are families grieving for a long time after they happened.


“It goes on and on and the loss is really, really, difficult to cope with,” she said.

Also at the launch was Neil Fox, whose sister, Donna, was cycling to work in Dublin on September 6, 2016, when she was killed in a collision with a truck.

Mr Fox wants to keep his sister in the news to highlight that cyclists are exposed to unnecessary dangers on city centre streets every day.

Donna, 30, from Naul, County Dublin, was travelling in a cycling lane and had stopped ahead of the truck, which had indicated to turn left.

She suffered multiple traumatic injuries after falling beneath the wheel of the 12.5 tonne truck.

“Five more cyclists died on the roads last year so even though there has been a lot more publicity about the dangers of cycling we really have to do something,” said Neil.

He pointed out that a minimum passing distance supported by the RSA has yet to be passed into law.

Neil also wants more money to be spent on making cycling safer – spending only represents a tiny fraction of the transport budget.

RSA chief executive, Moyagh Murdock, said families of road traffic victims play a significant role in improving road safety: “Many of the people attending the launch would have campaigned for different pieces of legislation that would otherwise not have got through the Dáil because of political opposition and vested interest.”

World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims takes place on Sunday.

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