A motorcade featuring more than 200 motorcyclists escorted the hearse carrying Down Syndrome Ireland fundraiser and avid biker Aidan Lynam’s coffin back to Dublin last night.
The emotional procession made up of his friends and colleagues was in tribute to a 44 year-old father of three who died on Sunday while taking part in the Revup4DSI event which he had founded a decade ago to raise money for the Down Syndrome Ireland.
Mr Lynam’s motorbike collided with a car on the outskirts of Kilkee in Co Clare. He was airlifted to hospital but was later pronounced dead.
Pat Clarke, chief executive of Down Syndrome Ireland, told how he was in Ennis manning one of the checkpoints for the event when his friend passed through his checkpoint about an hour before the accident. He said he got a text saying there had been a crash and that it was Mr Lynam, but initially he didn’t realise how serious it was.
He said they called a halt to the motorcycle challenge for the day and all of the people there went to the local hotel to hold a celebration of the Dubliner’s life.
As well as his job, Down Syndrome Ireland was a charity close to his heart, not least because he and his wife Nikki have a daughter Robyn who has Down Syndrome. They also have two sons, Jake and Harry.
Pat Clarke told how the Rev-up4DSI event which Mr Lynam founded had raised 1.6 million over the last 10 years for the charity.
“Aidan was much more than that. He was a father, a husband and he was involved in many, many other fundraising events like the Tour de Munster, the Tour de Leinster, Lap de Gaps with The Reservoir Cogs and also with the Maynooth Galway cycle,” he told RTÉ radio. “He had a broad outreach to an awful lot of people and his passing will affect an awful lot of people, not least within the community of families within the Down Syndrome Community.”
Aidan Lynam was an absolute gent He did great work and we had some good laughs
Pat Clarke said Mr Lynam was very “forthright” in assisting his colleagues in dealing with all the issues that they encountered in relation to Down Syndrome over the last number of years such as health concerns, medical cards and resource teaching hours.
“He will be sadly missed among all my colleagues in Down Syndrome Ireland and within the broader community of families with a child with Down Syndrome,” he said.
Hundreds of bikes arriving in Dublin now as they accompany the remains of the late Aidan Lynam back home pic.twitter.com/04pXaq1lzW— Emma Jane Hade (@emmajhade) May 4, 2015
Paul Sheridan of Tour de Munster described Mr Lynam as someone who was giving of his time and his spirit and who “inspired people to give the best of themselves”.
“He will be a huge loss to me personally as a friend,” he added. “We were brothers in arms as we tried to rally ordinary people to give of their best in an extraordinary setting like the Tour de Munster.”
Numerous people took to Twitter to pay tribute to Mr Lynam, including renowned comedian and biker PJ Gallagher who said: “This guy only ever called me to help other people. I’m gonna miss you buddy. Wish there was more like you Aidan Lynam. A life spent trying to improve the lives of everyone he met and most of all a biker.”
This guy only ever called me to help other people. I'm gonna miss you buddy. Wish there was more like you. pic.twitter.com/fnJqpMBo8X— PJ Gallagher (@pjgallagher) May 3, 2015
Ireland international rugby player, Martin Moore, said “Very sad news of Aidan Lynam’s passing yday. Lucky to have met him & seen amazing work he did for @DownSyndromeIRL. Thoughts with his family”.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved