Inquest told cyclist died in collision with cat


A CYCLIST died of serious head injuries following a collision with a cat in a freak incident in Cork.

An inquest into the death of Derek O’Leary, an experienced cyclist who had plans to cycle the Ring of Kerry for charity, heard how he was found lying on the road on a steep incline at Coolmackey, outside Fermoy on the evening of July 17th, 2008.

A black cat, which had just died, was found near the scene of the crash, according to evidence given by Garda Susan Nolan of Fermoy Garda station.

The 43-year-old cyclist, from Fermoy, was found on the road by a passing motorist Ger Murphy shortly before 6pm. Mr Murphy told the inquest at Cork City Coroner’s Court yesterday that he turned a corner to find a body on the road, lying face down with the bicycle at its feet.

Garda Nolan told the inquest she arrived at the scene just over an hour later to find a dead cat lying on a grassy bank beside the scene of the crash.

An autopsy carried out on the cat found that its injuries were consistent with a collision and sample hairs similar to those of the cat were found to be present on the bicycle.

Cork city coroner Dr Myra Cullinane described the incident as an act of God that came completely out of the blue.

The jury returned a verdict of accidental death.