A jockey who had ridden for champion horse trainer Enda Bolger and owner JP McManus was killed in a freak accident yesterday.
He is one of two people who died in workplace accidents yesterday.
Ryan Cusack, aged 17, from Murroe, Co Limerick, died in a field near the Bolger training yard at Howardstown House, Co Limerick. He fell from a trailer attached to a tractor that had been collecting trees felled in recent storms.
There was shock at the Bolger yard as Mr Cusack’s friends and colleagues tried to come to terms with his sudden death.
Fellow trainee jockey, Cathal Courtney, 18, from Kildare, said: “It’s a tragedy, he was such a nice bubbly young fella. He really enjoyed what he did.”
Trevor Ryan, a close friend of the deceased, described Mr Cusack as being “as sound a fella as you would ever come across”.
He said Mr Cusack had recently broken through the ranks, securing his first three rides on Far and Away, trained by Enda Bolger and owned by JP McManus.
Mr Cusack was to have celebrated his 18th birthday next Wednesday.
“He did his first couple of rides this year. He had three rides and he had just started this year in point to point (races),” Mr Ryan said.
The Cusack family are well-known in horse and hunting circles. His uncle Liam runs a small stable yard and was also a jockey.
“His uncle was a good jockey. He would be well known. He has a similar operation to Enda Bolger’s yard but on a smaller scale,” Mr Ryan added.
Workers said Mr Bolger is currently training 16 jockeys at his stable yard, located between Bruree and Athlacca.
Mr Cusack had been training under Mr Bolger’s team since last August, and had just put down his first full season. “It’s tough for his family,” said another worker at the yard.
Workers said Mr Bolger had gone to meet the deceased’s family at University Hospital Limerick where Mr Cusack’s body was brought for an autopsy.
Mr Cusack is survived by parents Vincent and Martina, his brother Barry and sister Holly. Gardaí at Bruff and the HSA are investigating.
Meanwhile, a man has died after being crushed by a heavy digger near the seafront in Skerries, Co Dublin yesterday.
The man, aged 50, was crushed between the digger and a wall at a construction site off Harbour Rd.
HSA inspectors examined the scene of the accident that occurred before midday. It is understood that the victim was a passerby and not involved in the construction project.
An investigation is being conducted by gardaí at Balbriggan.
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