Sunbather critically hurt after scrambler bike lands on head

Gardaí say a 16-year-old boy is helping them with their enquiries

The 39-year-old man was taken to Beaumont Hospital with serious head injuries. Photograph: Google Streetview

A man is in a critical condition in Beaumont Hospital after he was hit in the head by a motorbike as he was sunbathing in a park in north Dublin.

The 39-year-old man, who has not been named by gardaí, was enjoying the sunshine with a woman in a public park in Darndale at about 1.50pm on Saturday when he was struck.

It is understood the scrambler-type bike was being been driven around the park by a 16-year-old boy. Witnesses said it hit a grassy knoll and travelled up into the air before landing on the man.

A Garda spokesman said the man, who was taken to Beaumont Hospital suffering from head injuries, remains in a critical condition.


A boy, suspected to be the driver of the bike, was assisting the gardaí with their enquiries. It is understood the teenager was not the owner of the bike but had borrowed it from an adult, who was also interviewed by gardaí.

Gardaí are appealing to any person who may have witnessed the incident or who may have information to contact Coolock Garda station on 01-666 4200, the Garda Confidential Line 1800 -666 111 or any Garda station.

There have been several recent incidents involving scrambler or quad bikes including a head-on collision last year between a young rider and a SUV.

Last year a video was widely shared on social media showing young people on scramblers and quad bikes narrowing missing cars in Dublin city centre.

Last month, Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said he was examining whether additional laws are required to further regulate the use of such vehicles.

Sinn Féin had complained that people who engage in anti-social behaviour in parks and greens using the bikes cannot be prosecuted because of the narrow legal definition of the term “public space.”

“A multi-agency approach is required to tackle this anti-social issue effectively,” said Mr Flanagan.

He said he would convene a meeting to “to identify more effective, possible solutions and determine responsibility and timeframes for implementation.”

“Despite the existing road traffic and other relevant legislation available in this area, the garda authorities have indicated that there are issues of safety involved in enforcement of these laws, which are best-addressed through a multi-agency approach,” he added.

Fianna Fáil TD for Dublin Bay North Sean Haughey said stricter controls are needed on scramblers and quad bikes. “Perhaps setting a minimum age limit on the use of quads and scramblers would help alleviate the number of accidents and make it less likely for them to occur,” he said.

Cllr Cian O’Callaghan, a Social Democrat member of Dublin City Council, said parents should be discouraged from buying quad bikes and scramblers for their children, the dangerous use of which he said had “been allowed to reach epidemic levels”.

“Teenagers are driving these vehicles without any tax, insurance or drivers’ licences. It’s also not unusual to see children as young as seven or eight racing around housing estates and in public open spaces and parks, posing a huge danger to themselves as well as pedestrians and road users,” he said.

Independent Dublin city councillor Noeleen Reilly has called for legislation to regulate scrambler bikes.

“This is a consistent problem for years, especially in good weather,” she told RTÉ’s News at One. “Public parks are being taken over and gardaí say they don’t have the power to seize or chase scrambler bikes.”

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien is an Irish Times journalist