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Inquest records verdict of accidental death

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By Anne Lucey

A cyclist in a mentoring programme for new cyclists, run by Killarney Cycling Club, died after she went under the wheel of a large agricultural trailer, on the N22 Killarney bypass, an inquest was told.

Annette Mannix (48) St Brendan's Place, Killarney, died on May 10, 2017 due to severe traumatic injuries in a road traffic collision at the Lewis Road junction on the 100km an hour bypass, Killarney Coroner's Court heard.

Ms Mannix was described as a "slow but steady" cyclist and was behind others in the programme for new cyclists wanting to enter the annual Ring of Kerry Cycle for around 20, set up by the Killarney Cycling Club. Behind her were two club mentors. There had been a cycle lane until the junction. As the three person tail group, going in the Killorglin/Tralee direction merged onto the roadway, they were overtaken by a tractor and trailer also going in the same direction. It was a spot where there was little room for cyclists, expert witness Garda PSV inspector Garda James O’Brien said.

Garda O’Brien said it was “not clear” what caused Ms Mannix to come off her bike and be rolled over by the back wheel of the large hay turner agricultural trailer, drawn by a John Deere tractor.

It was a clear bright evening shortly after 7pm, and the group had set out from the nearby sports centre on their 25km run, the inquest was also told.

“The deceased fell off her bike, landed on the road way and was overrun by the back wheel of the trailer. It is not clear what led to the fall,” the garda concluded.

The junction was “a cumbersome process” for cyclists, as they had to leave the cycling lane and use a shared space, and return again to the cycle lane, Garda O’Brien also said.

The agricultural tractor with 1.5 metre high back wheels, and “brand new” hay turner trailer were in good condition and the driver had a good view of the road and good mirror system. Excessive speed was not involved, Garda O’Brien said.

The light-framed purple pedal 18-speed cycle of Ms Mannix was almost new and in good condition also.

“A gap" had appeared between Ms Mannix and the other cyclists in the convoy. She was the last in the group and behind her were two club mentors.

Accounts to the inquest of what happened differed.

Paul O’Raw of the Killarney Cycle Club, one of the mentors at the rear, said it was the fourth week of the 12-week cycling club mentoring programme for the new cyclists. They went single file at the junction, and she did not stray onto the road. The tractor had moved gradually to the left and the rear wheel had knocked her off her bike, and the trailer then rolled over her, Mr O’Raw said in his deposition.

Tractor driver, Dean Taylor, told Gardai Ms Mannix had gone up onto the footpath and had come off suddenly as he passed. He was experienced with tractor driving and had not moved into his left. He spoke of his shock after seeing her go under the wheel of his trailer.

A lorry driver said the cyclist had sped up while being passed by the tractor, made contact with the left wheel of the tractor, lost control and wobbled.

The six man jury returned a verdict of accidental death. Coroner for south and east Kerry, Aisling Quilter, Garda Supt Flor Murphy, and jury foreman Paudie Nagle extended their sympathy to the family of Ms Mannix, including her sister Suzanne Dennehy, who has campaigned for improvements to the junction since her sister's death.

 

 

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Lissi’s love of nature nets prize

After a successful launch year in the Isle of Man in 2020, ‘The Young Nature Blogger 2021’ went international as Kerry Biosphere and Dublin Bay Biosphere joined the competition. Open to anyone under 21, entrants were asked to write up to 500 words about their favourite experience or place in nature. Each Biosphere participating awarded […]

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After a successful launch year in the Isle of Man in 2020, ‘The Young Nature Blogger 2021’ went international as Kerry Biosphere and Dublin Bay Biosphere joined the competition.

Open to anyone under 21, entrants were asked to write up to 500 words about their favourite experience or place in nature.

Each Biosphere participating awarded local prizes with the top entry from each being submitted to the international competition between the three.

This week the two judges for the international element Author Dara McAnulty and Professor Martin Price, Chair of the UK Man and the Biosphere Committee, have unanimously chosen ‘The Otter’ by Lissi Nickelsen (Kerry) as winner of the inter-Biosphere Young Nature Blogger 2021.

“I absolutely love the observational detail in this piece,” Dara McAnulty, author of ‘Diary of a Young Naturalist’ and the youngest ever winner of The Wainright Prize for nature writing said:

“You can really feel that breathless excitement and tension of seeing an otter. The drawing shows how multimedia can be used to great effect in a blog.”

Professor Martin Price added that it “is a beautifully written blog about a very special encounter”.

“I really get the feeling of what Lissi observed so carefully, and her joy about spending time with an otter! And the drawing is wonderful too!”

Lissi will receive a young naturalist writing set from Dara McNulty, a framed otter picture from Wildlife photographer Vincent Hyland, Wild Derrynane, and a family kayak trip in the Kerry Biosphere.

The winning entry can be read on the Kerry Biosphere website www.kerrybiosphere.ie/news.

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The only certainty is uncertainty

By Michael O’Connor    “History is just one damn thing after another” – Arnold Toynbee Late last week, the emergence of a new COVID-19 variant in South Africa sent shockwaves worldwide, upending what had been a reasonably quiet week for the stock market. On Friday last, a steep sell-off left the S&P 500 and the […]

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By Michael O’Connor   

“History is just one damn thing after another” – Arnold Toynbee

Late last week, the emergence of a new COVID-19 variant in South Africa sent shockwaves worldwide, upending what had been a reasonably quiet week for the stock market. On Friday last, a steep sell-off left the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq down 2.2% and 3.5%, respectively.

This 147th twist in the pandemic tale got me thinking about how much we think we know when really, we know nothing at all.

At the start of the year nobody would have predicted that 2020 would have played out the way it did. Very few would have predicted that 2021, with promising vaccines and a return to normality would have represented so little change, but here we are.

Everyone loves to pretend like they fully understand what this all means and what will happen next. I get it; who doesn’t love the warm cozy allure of certainty. We all want to exist in a world where we know what lies around the corner.

History is a perpetual stream of mistaken opinions and unpredictable outcomes, but the predictions won’t stop. People will cast their views with deluded certainty about what to expect next by extrapolating the current conditions out into the future, but the current conditions aren’t a constant, and the game is always changing.

Unfortunately, the reality is, nobody knows what’s next, and the sooner you can discard any naive sense of conviction, the easier it will be in both life and investing. While this statement may seem morbid on the surface, loosening our grip on our need for certainty can be liberating.

Remember, while it is important to have expectations and predictions, predictions are not fact, and you will be wrong. Not always, but you will be wrong, so try not to be overly tethered to your current version of the truth.

Lean into the uncertainty

Accepting that nothing is certain can often be cast as an impotent statement in a world obsessed with knowing all the answers.

In an industry where uncertainty is the ultimate enemy, telling investors to submit to it is often met with disdain, but accepting the inevitability of uncertainty is so important if you want to avoid going stir crazy as you try and hold for the long term.

Of course, discarding uncertainty is easier said than done. Worrying about factors beyond our control is an inherent part of the human condition. However, simply being aware that the game is not predictable and nobody truly knows the final outcome may help you reduce your craving for certainty.

My advice

Stop reaching for perfection in a world of constant uncertainty. Stop obsessing about making the right decision one hundred percent of the time. Even the best investors in history have had their fair share of howlers. Ultimately you just need to be right more often than you are wrong.

The solution

Create an investment portfolio centred around what you believe to be the most probable outcome based on available information and incorporate enough diversification to function as a buffer.

In a world where anything is possible, all you can do is focus on what is most probable, allow for a margin of error to support you when your assumed outcomes don’t play out and simply let go of the rest.

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