Near miss for biker as hunt encroaches on to main road
07 April 2006
Six times more likely to be killed on Irish roads, motorcyclists are listed by the National Safety Council as being among the most vulnerable on Irish roads. A biker from Cork reveals how he nearly became the latest victim when a pack of foxhounds came spilling out on to a main road.
What follows is his account of what happened:
"Let me tell you of my recent frightening experience. I went out for a spin on 2nd January 2006 on my Yamaha FJR 1300cc motorbike in the East Cork direction, heading for Ardmore and taking the coast road to Dungarvan. I was driving along at the permitted speed of 80kph when, out of nowhere, 25ft in front of my bike, a pack of hounds came out of a farm gate and across the road into another gate. Well, I locked on my brakes and smoked up my back tyre and went into the pack of hounds, glancing off two of them. My bike came to a stop inches away from the concrete gate pillar.
"Had I been going that little bit faster, I would have suffered a very serious injury at the least, hitting the concrete pillar. Well, I was shaking with fright and my instant reaction was to look for the master of the hunt for an explanation, but unfortunately bikes don't jump ditches. After a minute composing myself, I went on my way still shaking with fright.
"The government are quite prepared to add motorcycle deaths to their list, but they never say what caused the accident, when it is a known fact, that in the majority of cases, they are caused by a third party. I hope my letter will be highlighted by you, and it may possibly save another motorcyclist from serious injury or death."
The Irish Council Against Blood Sports has passed a copy of this disturbing incident on to the Cork Gardai, the National Safety Council, the Road Safety Authority, the Minister for Transport and the Road Safety Officer of Cork County Council and urged them to take immediate action to keep hunts off roads.
We are now renewing our call on motorists around the country to complain to the Gardai if hunts come on to public roads and interfere in any way with the free flow of traffic. The phone numbers of Garda stations all over Ireland can be found at www.garda.ie.
Please write to Garda HQ and ask for urgent action to be taken to keep hunts off public roads. If you have seen hunters, hunt horses and hounds and/or hunt followers causing inconvenience or danger to road users, please mention this in your correspondence.
Mr Noel Conroy