This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 6 °C Thursday 14 November, 2019
Advertisement

Cyclists stage 'die in' outside the Dáil in second day of protest

Yesterday, cyclists staged a similar protest outside the Dublin City Council offices.

Cyclists staged a 'die in' outside the Dáil today.
Cyclists staged a 'die in' outside the Dáil today.
Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Updated Nov 6th 2019, 3:25 PM

DOZENS OF CYCLISTS gathered outside the Dáil today for a ‘die in’ – the second day of protests to highlight the dangers of cycling in Dublin. 

Traffic was brought to a halt for 15 minutes on Kildare Street earlier this afternoon as cyclists staged the latest demonstration in a week of protests calling on the government to fund better cycling infrastructure in Dublin. 

Yesterday, nearly 100 cyclists staged a similar protest outside Dublin City Council’s offices at Wood Quay.

The action, organised by I Bike Dublin, comes following the death of a cyclist Neeraj Jain last Friday after he was struck by a lorry on the South Circular Road in Dublin. More action is planned in the coming days.

Today’s demonstration saw cyclists lie down in the middle of the road, alongside their bikes, bringing the busy intersection to a brief standstill. Cyclists in the city have long demanded government action to make them safer on Irish roads. 

A spokesperson for the Department of Transport said that Shane Ross, the Minister for Transport, “deeply regrets the tragic death of Neeraj Jain and passes on his deep condolences to the cyclist’s family”. 

“He is committed to reducing the number of fatalities on our roads involving cyclists. He will implement changes to make it a separate offence to dangerously overtake a pedal cyclist,” the spokesperson said. 

4419 Cyclists protest_90584342 Dozens of cyclists made their up Molesworth Street to the Dáil today. Source: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

The numbers of people cycling into Dublin city centre has almost doubled from 6,870 in 2011 to over 12,000 in 2018, according to National Transport Authority (NTA) figures. 

The NTA has previously acknowledged that more needs to be done to make cycling safer. 

Addressing the crowd today, Lucille Redmond said that cyclists were “here today to demand that the government and councils build safe, protected roads for people to cycle in Dublin and in Ireland”. 

As traffic stopped and dozens of cyclists lay on the street in front of her, Redmond read out a list of 16 people killed cycling on Irish roads. 

“These were ordinary people. Their deaths were an ordinary part of Irish life.This should not be so. The deaths have gone on and on in the years since then,” she said. 

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Ciarán Ferrie, said that the last week’s death had “galvanised” the cycling community. 

“During the tenure of this government there have been 40 people killed on Irish roads while cycling and the government is not taking it seriously,” he said.  “Nothing has been done.”

The group is calling for 20% of the the Department of Transport’s land transport budget to go towards cycling and walking infrastructure. 

“People driving buses, trucks and cars don’t want to be interacting with people cycling and we don’t want to be interacting with them either. Safe cycling infrastructure will save lives,” Ferrie said. 

Neil Fox, whose sister was killed in a collision in Dublin’s north inner city in 2016, wrote in a blog post ahead of the ‘die in’ that he was in “total solidarity” with protesters.  He said he was calling “on the government as ever, to wake up, to do whatever possible to curb such carnage”. 

Green Party deputy leader Catherine Martin, speaking to TheJournal.ie at the protest, said that the issue has been “neglected” by the government.

“Our cyclists are dying on the streets, most recently last week, because of the consistent lack of investment in safe cycling infrastructure,” she said. 

“This needs to be prioritised.”

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

Read next:

COMMENTS (208)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel