Belfast Telegraph

Sinn Fein MLA Philip McGuigan breaks collarbone in horror cycling race crash

Sinn Fein MLA Philip McGuigan
Sinn Fein MLA Philip McGuigan

Sinn Fein MLA Philip McGuigan has refused to hang up his bicycle helmet, despite breaking several bones in a horror crash earlier this month.

The 45-year-old politician took up cycling eight years ago and suffered five broken ribs in a collision a number of years ago.

Speaking to the Ballycastle Chronicle, the Dunloy man said some people may "question my sanity" by racing competitively at his age, but the "buzz and adrenaline" of the sport is something to be enjoyed regardless.

He said: “Unfortunately at times riding a bike can be precarious. This is especially so in races that may have 80 cyclists pursuing their dream of victory over 60 miles of rural Irish roads.  In this case I was among a group of cyclists from across the nine counties of Ulster."

The latest accident happened as riders were travelling through the town of St Johnston in Co Donegal during a race organised by the Strabane/Lifford Cycling Club.

When the cyclist in front of Mr McGuigan suddenly lost control of his bike, the North Antrim MLA hit his back wheel and went over the handlebars, hitting the tarmac at around 30mph.

“As I was flying through the air I was bracing myself not just for the impact of hitting the ground but also the impact as the wheels of other riders used my back, head and legs as a stopping ramp," he said.

“Sure enough the bang of the road was quickly followed by the wallop of other riders ploughing into me and falling over me.

“My inability to breathe properly for a number of minutes was a bit worrying. St. John Ambulance staff attended to me very quickly and got me sorted so that a few of my teammates could drive me to Altnagelvin."

Following a series of x-rays, the Sinn Fein politician discovered he had suffered three broken ribs and a broken collarbone.

He now has a six to eight week recovery period ahead of him and is currently sleeping in a recliner chair due to the discomfort.

Mr Guigan, however, is thankful his injuries were not worse.

“I should say that my helmet did its job. It was cracked and now needs replaced but without it God knows what injuries I would have had,” he said.

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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