Denis Naughten in hospital for tests after bike hit by car

Minister transferred to Galway University Hospital for test but due for release on Wednesday

Minister for Communications Denis Naughten was one of 18 patients on trolleys in Portiuncula Hospital in Co Galway on Tuesday, following a cycling incident the previous day.

Mr Naughten was held on Monday night for tests at the east Galway hospital, which has been on “full capacity protocol” for several days.

He was later transferred to Galway University Hospital for a “further and final diagnostic test and should be discharged in the morning,” his spokeswoman said.

The Independent Minister, a Roscommon-Galway TD, was taken by ambulance to Portiuncula after he was clipped by a passing car while out cycling. He was wearing a helmet, which saved him from more serious injury after he toppled over the handlebars of his bike and landed on his back on the road.


Family friend and Roscommon county councillor Dominick Connolly said Mr Naughten had been very fortunate that his injuries were not more serious, but that he could take "some time to recover".

“He was on a trolley today, and texted me last night to say he knew now how it felt to be on one in the emergency department,” Cllr Connolly said.

“He’d sooner not be made of a fuss of,would take his place in the queue for a bed, and he would have made that clear to hospital staff.”

Gardaí are investigating the circumstances of the incident, which occurred on a narrow stretch of road several kilometres outside Roscommon town on Monday afternoon.

Cllr Connolly said he understood that two cars were travelling in opposite directions at the time, and low sunlight had temporarily dazzled one of the drivers. “The driver is a local person, who is devastated,” he added.

Cllr Connolly said that Mr Naughten was thankful he did not have his youngest daughter with him on the bike at the time. He said that gardaí and the ambulance service responded very speedily.

Mr Naughten has been an advocate of retaining the full 24-hour emergency department at Portiuncula in spite of efforts to downgrade it.

Portiuncula was named as one of nine hospitals where emergency services should be reduced in a report by the trauma network steering group which was leaked to media last July.