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Dublin: 12°C Monday 4 July 2022

Dune buggies banned from beach where woman killed

Special Olympian Edel Doyle died after the dune buggy she was travelling in flipped over – it turns out that using such vehicles is prohibited on the strand where accident happened.

Image: An en Alain via Flickr

A WOMAN WHO died in a beach buggy accident in Co Mayo has been named as Special Olympian Edel Doyle (25).

The Irish Daily Star reports today that Edel died after her beach buggy flipped over on Lackan Strand.

A beach or dune buggy is an off-road sports vehicle originally designed for driving in sand dunes. However, under Mayo Co Council beach bye-laws, the use of dune buggies or other mechanically-propelled vehicles is prohibited.

The bye-laws state:

No person shall drive, propel, push, park or leave any motor car or other mechanically propelled vehicle on the beaches listed in the Schedule of Beaches attached to these Bye-laws (other than in an area designated by the Council or other statutory body for such purposes) save with the consent of the Council or any other statutory body authorised to permit such activities and subject to the terms and conditions of such permission.

Lackan Strand is included in the list of prohibited areas.

Edel’s boyfriend Sean Golden told the newspaper’s reporter Patrick O’Connell that Edel was  “more than my world” and that there are no words to describe how he is feeling. He described her as “full of life” and said they were enjoying a day out at the beach “when in the blink of an eye everything changed for us”.

It was Sean who alerted the emergency services after Edel sustained fatal injuries when her buggy “flipped over” at around 3.15pm on Sunday afternoon.  She was a passenger in the buggy which was driven by her friend, who suffered serious injuries and is still in hospital.

Edel was rushed to Mayo General Hospital in Castlebar but tragically lost her fight for life at 8.30pm that night.

Edel was a top soccer player who scored two goals against South Africa in a game which won Ireland the bronze medal at the 2007 Special Olympics in Shanghai.

Some dune buggies are suitable for off-road use while some are suitable to be used on main roads.

The Road Traffic Act 1961 defines a mechanically propelled vehicle as “a vehicle intended or adapted for propulsion by mechanical means”.

A mechanically propelled vehicle when in use in a public place must comply with the requirements of the Road Traffic (Construction, Equipment and Use of Vehicles) Regulations 1963 to 2002 and the Road Traffic (Lighting of Vehicles) Regulations 1963 to 1996. In that scenario, the driver must have third party insurance cover, a driving licence and the vehicle must be registered and is liable for motor tax.

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