Tragic cyclist had no working brakes

A cyclist who died in a fall at the bottom of one of Cork’s steepest streets had no working brakes on his bike, an inquest has heard.

Tragic cyclist had no working brakes

Charles O’Sullivan, 48, from Reendowney Place, Friar’s Walk, Cork, lost control of his bike at the bottom of Shandon St at around 5.40pm on July 1 last.

He was thrown from his bike and suffered massive head injuries, and was pronounced dead at Cork University Hospital later.

Cork City Coroner’s Court heard yesterday he was not wearing a helmet and had no working brakes, which contributed to the accident. A jury returned a verdict of death due to misadventure.

His brother Michael told the inquest they had cycled from their home earlier to fish behind the Kingsley Hotel before going to the Chime’s Bar off Shandon St.

Before they left for the pub, John said his brother noticed his front brake cable had come loose, and they tried to fix it. He said Charles had found the bike abandoned in Ballyphehane Park. They arrived at Chimes Bar at about 4pm where Charles told another customer, Gavin O’Connor, that someone “went at the brakes”.

Mr O’Connor told coroner Dr Myra Cullinane he tried to fix the brakes but they “were in bits”.

The brothers had two pints and left on their bikes before 5.40pm. John said Charles passed him at speed and appeared to be out of control.

John said he saw his brother put his feet down on the road, and put one foot against his back wheel, in an effort to slow. Charles’s bike struck the kerb, throwing him off.

Elizabeth O’Leary, an intensive care unit nurse who came upon the scene, administered CPR within seconds, before community first responder Pat Carroll took over, followed by advanced paramedics.

The cause of death was traumatic brain and neck injury, consistent with a fall from a bike. Gardaí found no evidence anyone had tampered with the brakes, and the poor condition of the bike contributed to the accident.

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