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Dena’s close brush with teen motorists reported to gardaí

May 12th, 2021 11:55 AM

By Jackie Keogh

Dena was forced off her bike and ended up in a ditch of nettles.

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GARDAÍ in Clonakilty are investigating an incident in which abusive youths caused a cyclist to fall from her bike.

A sinister craze for disrupting cyclists was recently highlighted on RTÉ’s Liveline and here, in West Cork, a similar incident occurred on a recent Sunday afternoon.

Hotelier Dena O’Donovan described to The Southern Star how youths drove past her with little more than an inch or two to spare when she was cycling along the road at Inchydoney.

‘I was minding my own business,’ said Dena, ‘and the next thing I knew a teenager shouted some obscenities at me. He was about an inch from my handlebars and shouted in my ear.’

This caused Dena to wobble, go off the road, into the gutter, and land in a big bunch of nettles.

A motorist behind her witnessed the incident and took a note of the registration number. After being helped to her feet, Dena promptly posted the number on Facebook.

In a message to the owner of the beige-coloured car and their ‘idiot offspring’ Dena said: ‘Please teach your children NOT to shout obscenities at cyclists as they pass within two inches of the bicycle.

‘Please teach them the courtesy and respect of the rules of the road. I ended up in the ditch but, luckily, I was not injured,’ she added.

The time of the offence – 4.45pm on April 25th – and the location was noted online and again when Dena reported the matter to An Garda Siochana.

The hope is that the vehicle can be identified by CCTV.

Meanwhile, people showed their support by appealing to other motorists to check their dashcam footage.

Dena was well enough to cycle back to Clonakilty, but she believes it could have ended badly if she had been an older person, or a child, or had wobbled into the path of the oncoming traffic.

A Co Wicklow incident that was reported on Liveline shocked listeners, especially when it was revealed that the culprits had actually videoed the assault on the cyclist and posted it online.

‘I had no injuries, just nettle stings,’ said Dena of the Inchydoney incident, ‘but what annoys me is that I consider that road part of my home. I walk, drive and cycle the road all the time.

‘I like to think it is a safe place to be, so this kind of thing needs to be stamped out,’ she said.

‘I see a lot of teenage drivers passing cars in places where you or I would never dream of passing.

‘They are taking their lives in their hands and everyone else’s too.’

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