All posts by John

Sport Ireland workshop on Get Ireland Cycling

On March 6th a number of us plus Stephen McManus of IBIKEDublin, Irish Cycle’s Cian Ginty and a Cycling Ireland crew went to the Sport Ireland workshop on how to #GetIrelandCycling facilitated by Dr. Damien O’Tuama (consultant to Sport Ireland) and Sandra Velthuis.

Keynote speaker was Damien’s collaborator Angela van der Kloof, of Mobycon who said unless you have a coherent network of segregated cycle tracks/path criss-crossing urban areas you will not get more people cycling. She said “Children are precious and must be protected from fast traffic”. It was good to see senior officials from Healthy Ireland and Departments of Health and Transport there too along with Road Authorities and Local Sports Partnerships folks. Super. Con O’Donohue of AGS National Roads Policing and two colleagues were also there.

We got a chance to speak and harped about the urgency of government appointing a National Cycling Coordinator in Department of Transport along with a team and a promotional budget.

We need to keep repeating this as a mantra in public as often as we can. It’s a key recommendation of the NCPF.

We were asked to post an estimate of the percentage of commuters who would be using a bike by 2025. I posted 6% nationally; the NCPF called for 10% by 2020!

Cycling Without Age – update

  1. Humans of Dublin, interviewed us and here is the cheery feature they did
  2. We now have a CWA Facebook Group, which is open to all, so if you have not already joined, please feel free, as this is where we will add regular updates and happy news!
  3. Bikes: In addition to the six trishaws already up and running (three in Co. Cork and three in Dublin), there are at least five more on order. These are going to Waterford, Sligo, Leitrim and two for Co. Dublin. If anyone else has ordered their bike, do let me know, as we are now linking up with organisations such as Age & Opportunity, ChangeX, and others who will assist in promoting and working alongside new affiliates. Also, if you are ordering a bike, do sign up as an Affiliate to us. There is no charge and you will receive additional support and information from Copenhagen.
  4. Tips for Pilots and short videos on how to operate your bike: We have put together some short videos to demonstrate how to operate your trishaw, and some helpful Piloting Tips. Feel free to ask me to send you these. They work well in conjunction with actual pilot training.
  5. Pilot Training:   If people want pilot training and can come to Blackrock in Dublin, I am happy to offer pilot-training in our local park. I will not be able to travel all over Ireland, but if you can come to me, that offer is there!
  6. Volunteer pilots: As bikes arrive, I can start to match up the offers I have from volunteer pilots to their nearest bike and care home.
  7. Corporate Sponsors: Nursing and care homes and their supporters are fund-raising to get bikes. But, we would welcome offers from companies/organisations willing to come on board as sponsors or part-sponsors of bikes. Most of the bikes already operating here have been sponsored or co-sponsored by corporates. It offers great profile to the corporates, and some of their staff are acting as pilots. We are happy to talk to sponsors if you need us to.

Freedom Machine

“Freedom Machine” launch by the Dublin Cycling Campaign
Press Release 7/03/2018

On the 8th of March on International Women‟s Day we celebrate #Votail100 and the historical link between the bicycles and the emancipation of women. Launch of „Freedom Machine‟ the theme for the Dublin Cycling Campaign’s participation in this year‟s St. Patrick‟s Day Parade.

Venue: Bewley’s Cafe, Grafton Street, join us for tea, coffee and a chat about Freedom Machine.

When: 8th March 11am Starting at Bewley’s Café where Hanna and Frank Sheehy Skeffington used to meet regularly to discuss feminism and politics, Bewley’s Café and the Quakers have a historical link with the Irish Suffragette movement.

Photo opportunity Outside Leinster House 11.30pm Donna Cooney will be joined by Joanna Donnelly (MetEireann #andacyclist)) and Artist Laragh Pittman. After the launch and refreshments we will cycle in suffragette costume with replica handcrafted banners to Leinster house Kildare Street, where at 11.30 Senator Ivana Bacik (convenor of Oireachtas Cycling Group) will join us to say a few words of support. In celebration of one hundred years since women “got the vote”. #Votail100 #VotesforWomen FreedomMachineWebsite “I’m really looking forward to participating in the Parade. Combining my passion for cycling with the celebration of the victory of the vote is something I had never considered. I’ve been cycling around Dublin since school, I’ve never been a fan of public transport, there’s nothing like the freedom cycling can give you. Up on the bike and away you go. And letting my daughter see me out there, celebrating in this way makes me delighted.” Joanna Donnelly Meteorologist and she say’s “all we need is fine weather and that’s not a problem…” ‘I am delighted to support the idea of the ‘Freedom Machine’, or ‘Suffragette Cyclists’, who will be taking part in the St Patrick’s Day Parade dressed in suffragette costumes. I think it’s very timely to do this in 2018, as this year marks the centenary of women’s suffrage in Ireland – it is 100 years since the passage of the Representation of the People Act which first gave women the right to vote, and December will mark the 100th anniversary of the 1918 General Election in which Constance Markievicz was elected as the first woman TD or MP. The suffragette cyclists will not only mark this important centenary, but will also play a vital role in encouraging more women to take to the bicycle and to promote cycling generally – as a committed cyclist, I am really delighted to support them.’ Senator Ivana Bacik
Freedom Machine from the Dublin Cycling Campaign.
In St. Patrick‟s Day Parade 2018 we will have one hundred women of all ages cycling in our Freedom Machine pageant in suffragette costume.

We celebrate the important historical role of bicycles for suffragettes and the emancipation of Women.
The theme for the Dublin Cycling Campaign is titled #FreedomMachine.

Donna Cooney, an Artist, Activist, Campaigner and Cyclist developed the Freedom Machine concept and also co-ordinated the team of Artists, makers and participants in the Dublin Cycling Campaign for the St. Patrick‟s Day Parade 2018. “Freedom Machine has one hundred women of all ages in suffragette costume with their bicycles in the parade, hand crafted replica period banners, sashes and placards, followed by a smaller group of their family, supporters and members of the Dublin Cycling Campaign on bicycles and cargo bikes”. “Many women cyclists would still claim those feelings of self-reliance and independence, but sadly in 2018 the number of female cyclists is dwindling, with three times more men than women choosing to cycle” “As we parade on our freedom machines we hope to encourage more women to enjoy leaving their homes and return freely and safely on their bicycles”. Donna Cooney Artist and Coordinator The American civil rights leader, Susan B Anthony, wrote in 1896:”I think the bicycle has done more to emancipate women than any one thing in the world. I rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a bike. It gives her a feeling of self-reliance and independence the moment she takes her seat; and away she goes the picture of untrammelled womanhood.” We are joined in the parade by Senator Ivana Bacik Chair of Votail100, Joanna Donnelly Meteorologist who are daily cyclists and by ninety eight other women who enjoy their freedom on their bicycles. We also have the support and endorsement of Micheline Sheehy Skeffington granddaughter of Hanna Sheehy Skeffington, Senators Alice Mary Higgins and Catherine Martin TD of the Votail 100 Dail committee. We are generously supported by Dublin City Council in funding this event. We are grateful to Jim Wolfe of Wolfe cycles for the loan of High Nellies.

Contact Donna Cooney: M: 083 3317190 E: [email protected] Freedom Machine Project Website and please use #FreedomMachine

Minimum passing distance of cyclists to become law says Minister Ross

Ireland’s transport minister Shane Ross has said that he will bring forward legislation to have a minimum passing distance of motorists overtaking cyclists defined in law.

The law will mean motorists will have to give at least one metre overtaking distance when passing cyclists in speed zones up to 50 km/h and at least 1.5 metres when passing on roads with speed limits of over 50 km/hour.

Minister Ross made the announcement flanked by campaigner Phil Skelton, Minister Regina Doherty and junior minister Ciaran Cannon. Skelton is a Wexford-based campaigner who started the Stayin’ Alive at 1.5 campaign, while Doherty and Cannon introduced the first attempt to introduce the law before that process was hampered when they became government ministers.

Read more

Waterford Greenway wins tourism prize at council awards congratulate Waterford Council on this well deserved award and for their prescience in working to get this great stretch of Greenway, along Ireland’s EuroVelo1 cycle route, up and running. are working with Waterford Council in encouraging the growth of cycling throughout the county. A number of other initiatives in Waterford City and elsewhere are being explored, and Waterford is most definitely setting itself on the cycling map of Ireland’

‘The Waterford Greenway has transformed this county. There is no doubt about that’

The Waterford Greenway has taken first prize in a national competition aimed at encouraging community initiatives.

The Waterford Greenway scooped gold for the Best Tourism Initiative in the All Ireland Community and Council Awards organised by Local Authorities Members Association and iPB Insurance while it also took a Grand Prix Award for 2018.

Read article

Cycling funds fall by half despite growing popularity

The government halved its spending on cycling infrastructure for Dublin last year despite a rise in the number of cyclists.

There was just over €9 million allocated for cycling projects in the Greater Dublin area last year, which includes parts of Co Kildare, Meath and Wicklow. This compares with €17.5 million in 2016, €17.7 million in 2015 and €15.69 million in 2015.

Read article

Huge turnout for Great Southern Trail Greenway Christmas Walk / Cycle 2017

Over 200 people of all ages had a most enjoyable 10km walk or cycle along the old railway from Barnagh(N21) to Newcastle West on Wednesday 27  December 2017. The event was organised by the Great Southern Trail, the voluntary group that campaigned, developed and managed the Greenway until 2015). We were blessed with the weather on the day, crisp and bright. It was great to meet old and new faces including participants from our neighbouring counties of Kerry and Cork along with visitors from further afield.

Thanks to Phelim and Margaret of Coach House Travel and Pat Liston, our driver, for transporting everyone to the starting point from where the view over the Golden Vale was at its best . The walkers then had an easy downhill stroll along the Greenway which was in pristine condition thanks to the work of Joe O’Connor and his team in Limerick City & County Council along with the Rural Social Scheme personnel. The newly installed bilingual townland signs were also favourably commented upon.

After a walk of about two hours Triona Dore and her staff at the Longcourt House Hotel ensured that everyone had a nice cup of tea/coffee to wash down the seasonal mince pies. This was the largest ever participation in the Christmas walks/cycles organised by the GST over many years and we wish to thank the local papers, radio and parish bulletins for the generous coverage they have always provided to GST events. Bliain Nua Sonasach daoibh uilig i 2018.

In 2018, please God,  the GST hopes to organise a similar walk/cycle from Barnagh to Abbeyfeale  once Limerick City & County Council have reconnected the wonderful Barnagh Railway Tunnel to the Greenway. [At present the tunnel is a ‘stand alone’ feature and only accessible from the N21 Layby at Barnagh]. With Kerry County Council  preparing to continue the Greenway to Listowel 2018 could also witness an Abbeyfeale to Listowel walk/cycle and we encourage our Kerry supporters to contact their public representatives on the necessity to not alone link Listowel to the Greenway but to continue westwards to Tralee and Fenit along the old railway that Kerry  County Council have already purchased from CIÉ. Greenways revitalise rural communities; one need only visit the Waterford Greenway to witness that at first hand.

Finally, the GST is hoping to visit the Mayo Greenway on Bank Holiday Monday 7 May 2018: The group will be limited to 40 people with the cost being €60 including breakfast/evening dinner and coach travel from Newcastle West but not including bike-hire. Email [email protected] or phone Pat Condon 06962344 if interested.

Ireland’s Road Safety Champions 2017 Presented with ‘Leading Lights in Road Safety’ Awards by the Road Safety Authority

Full report; two highlights below

Special Recognition’ Award: Phil Skelton

Phil Skelton founded the Stayin’ Alive at 1.5 campaign in 2013 following the deaths of two cyclists in Wexford as a result of collisions with cars travelling in the same direction. The campaign raises awareness of the need to allow sufficient space when overtaking cyclists and campaigns for the introduction of a Minimum Passing Distance Law (MPDL).

 Phil has distributed approximately 10,000 car window stickers with the 1.5m message and supported creation of similar stickers in Sligo, Wexford and Kerry. Five local authorities have introduced the ‘Stayin’ Alive at 1.5’ logo on suitable vehicles (Wexford, Kerry, Donegal, Sligo, Mayo).

 Phil Skelton has been successful in increasing motorists’ awareness of safe overtaking distance. He has shown an outstanding level of commitment to the Stayin’ Alive at 1.5 campaign. The range and intensity of activities undertaken requires a huge voluntary time commitment.

Dublin Bus won the Public Sector Award – see below – for their wonderful and witty training video for drivers around cyclists
Public Sector’ Award: Dublin Bus

The number of cyclists on Dublin City roads has increased significantly over the last 10 years. Approximately 900 buses are sharing road space with cyclists during peak times. Dublin Bus have been proactive by acknowledging and recognising the significant increase in cyclists and the corresponding increased hazard that this can present for their drivers. Dublin Bus wanted to explore innovative methods to further improve the awareness amongst their drivers in relation to cyclists, and also to promote the importance of cyclist safety to a wider audience.

They commissioned a cyclist safety awareness video which now forms an integral part of ongoing driver training. The film was launched in 2016 and was rolled out to all employees attending their Training Centre for initial driver training, 2-yearly refresher training and Driver CPC.

Unfortunately our other 2 nominees, Cian Ginty/ and Kerry’s Eye newspaper did not make the awards … but no disgrace out of a total of 160 nominations!

New Trishaws, Awards, New Brochure – We’re Cycling!

Latest update newsletter from Cycling without Age (CWA – group member of

Trishaws:   In addition to a trishaw now in St Luke’s, in Mahon in Cork, and one in Clonakilty, we now have three in Dublin: one in Sybil Hill Nursing Home in Raheny, sponsored by Canada Life Re-Insurance, one in TLC Care Centre in Santry (who have three care homes), sponsored by Hidden Hearing, one in Mount Carmel HSE Community Hospital, sponsored by, and at least two more on order.

Awards: Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Academy 2017 awarded us €1500 which we have put towards promotional expenses, and KBC Bank Bright Ideas awarded Kilkenny Recreation & Sports Partnership CWA) €1750. This confirms that CWA is being recognised as a valuable social enterprise.

New Brochure: With the award from Social Entrepreneurs Ireland we got a brochure designed and printed. If you would like to get copies printed, go ahead. Or you can make colour photocopies. I can also provide a .pdf version of the brochure marked up for printing.

Having the brochure was essential when we attended as guests of the Nursing Homes Ireland annual conference in Citywest on 16th November, with 300 delegates and many trade exhibitors. We greatly appreciate their invitation to showcase our demo trishaw ‘Daisy’, and talk with nursing home owners from all over Ireland. On his arrival, Health Minister Simon Harris sat into our ‘Daisy’ and the photo appeared in the next day’s Irish Independent, with a broadly smiling Minister! He has asked us to go in and talk to Healthy Ireland in his Department.  Our thanks also to Ashbury Nursing Home in Deansgrange for providing their jeep, trailer and driver to get us to Citywest and back on the day.

Public Liability Insurance:  We are delighted to announce that Insurance Brokers O’Driscoll O’Neil have located an insurance company willing to offer all Irish CWA trishaw owners Public Liability cover. For more details, please contact Declan Troy, Tel: 01- 639 5860.

Hi-Vis Vests:  Given that we need to educate other road users on the appearance of CWA trishaws on our roads, I recommend that owners ask all pilots to wear identifiable RED hi-vis vests with the words VOLUNTEER PILOT on the lower back panel. I can give you a link to a print company who has already supplied some. Identifying the pilots as volunteers has already had benefits in the form of free coffee to passengers and pilots in some coffee shops!

Networking countrywide:  Our database for communicating with you is sortable by location. In this way, when I get enquiries from one region, I can link you up with others in that region. This is important, as we are volunteers and CWA is very time-consuming! We have been invited to give talks in places as far apart as Waterford and Donegal. While this shows the super level of interest, we cannot easily get to all these places, though we do try to cover local (to Dublin area) requests. Going forward, I would like other CWA affiliates to get out there spreading the word! We can help with details and information if requested. I can also supply you with graphics for a pull-up banner for using at events, talks and launches.

New Affiliates:  If you have signed up – or want to – as a CWA affiliate, do let me know.  I can then put you in touch with others including volunteer pilots in your area. Likewise, if you have recently received your CWA trishaw, do let me know, so we can promote you. We have held photo-calls for each of the Dublin launches, which generate good media and other responses, always building on the branding and profile of CWA.

Ordering your trishaw: All the specifications and details of the Trio Taxi Bike and the Christiania are on CWA; click on Order Bikes. Copenhagen Cycles can quote you up-to-date prices and delivery dates directly.

Pilot Training: I am currently offering pilot-training to those who have got trishaws in the greater Dublin area. An initial option is for me to train new pilots using our demo bike ‘Daisy’ in Blackrock, and then those pilots can train others when they get their own trishaws. We will need to train other pilot-trainers to cover the rest of Ireland. If you can help with this, please let me know.