Author Archives: ghostriders_in_the_sky

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What is a Biker’s life worth ?

A 41 year-old learner driver from Athlone who fatally injured a motorcyclist has avoided jail.

Tracy O’Neill, who was driving unaccompanied when the crash happened, had pleaded guilty to careless driving causing the death of Kieran Kenny in August 2017.

Roscommon Circuit court heard that Mr. Kenny was an experienced motorcyclist who was taking part in a charity fundraising event on the morning of Sunday 13th August 2017.

The 53 year-old from Monksland was travelling along the old N6 at Summerhill in Athlone shortly after 1pm when he was struck by a white SUV being driven by Tracy O’Neill as she exited a housing estate.

Mr Kenny, a married father of two adult daughters, was air lifted to University Hospital Galway where he was pronounced dead later that afternoon.

Gda Eoin Browne said it was a dry day with good visibility and a forensic a***ysis of the crash scene showed the point of impact was the centre of the road and that the motorcycle was travelling at a speed of 56km an hour in a 80km zone.

Tracy O’Neill, with an address at Crannagh, Summerhill, was a learner driver and the court was told that she’d been driving on a learner licence for some years. At the time of the crash she was unaccompanied in her car.

Mr Kenny’s oldest daughter Alana who read victim impact statements on behalf of her family said she never got to say goodbye to her father and he didn’t get to walk her down the aisle when she got married last year.

Her sister Carla told how her dad, who she said had “a massive heart”, had looked after their mother Helen in the months prior to his death as she recovered from cancer.

Judge Francis Comerford said the Kenny family had suffered a terrible loss and that Mr Kenny had not been to blame in any way for the accident.

He accepted that the defendant is a productive member of society who was extremely remorseful for what had occurred and had suffered health consequences as a result.

He ordered that Ms O’Neill, who had earlier pleaded guilty to careless driving causing death, undertake 90 hours community service in lieu of one year in prison and disqualified her from driving for ten years. He also ordered that she produce €1,000 at the April sitting of the court which is to be paid to a road safety charity.

Only in Ireland would a motorist be sentenced to 8 months in jail for putting a widows curse on somebody by the road side, despite him not even being a widow but that’s besides the point if you’re a superstitious wig-wearer, obviously arguing with a ban garda at some checkpoint is considered a heinous crime, yet for actually killing a person in broad daylight whilst driving unaccompanied as an L driver, ie. illegally on the roads – it’s only a 1000 euro slap on the wrist.

I think this sends out a clear message that biker’s are considered 2nd class citizens in the eyes of the law, whether they abide by the speed limits or not, and that the punishment for not obeying the rules of the road is very different for women, especially those who consistently fail driving tests (ie. are terrible drivers) and continue driving illegally anyway.

Tracy O’ Neill, promoting an organ donation and transplant campaign

The repercussions are equivalent to 1-months repayment on say, a multi-tasking unobservant yummie mummie’s Audi Q7 for taking an innocent man’s life, which will no doubt go towards another advertising campaign within the RSA with skewed statistics to paint bikers in an even dimmer light.

Obviously she didn’t set out to kill anyone that day, but if it was a man who caused the accident, or for example Kieran, who was responsible for her death – there would be uproar – the male would be a complete b****** in the eyes of the law, inevitably do jail-time and it would get plastered all over the media and probably have a prime-time slot on tv.

Ironically if HE had been speeding and breaking the law, ie. been placed further up the road – then Kieran would probably still be alive today and selflessly continued unabated to complete his charity motorcycle run for a good cause.

Kieran Kenny, one of the good guys telling everyone else to slow down

I’ve written letters to the RSA before but they don’t seem to give a f***, maybe as a small step towards road safety they should ensure that incompetent / learner drivers are restricted to 1.0l cars instead of huge MPV’s and barely manageable 4×4’s on our roads, similar to how they restrict a biker to smaller motorcycles starting out and lorry drivers / goods vehicles to a plethora of rigorous red tape and further training.

A large solid metal cocoon instils a sense of safety for the occupants effectively shielding them from the consequences of their actions to the outside world and their innate responsibility towards ensuring the safety of much smaller mortals such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists using the same public roads.

If this learner driver had been, by law, driving a micra instead then maybe the outcome could have been different, or maybe she wouldn’t have pulled out in the first place, or maybe even (given the token condemnation) she would have ignored those rules also and driven whatever she liked, illegally and without repercussions either-way.

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Motorcycling Hand Gestures and their meanings

Although motorcycle hand gestures are something that most riders learn as part of their motorcycle license exams, often they are forgotten and not used when actually needed. For example, if another motorist cuts you up, is on the phone or generally driving in a selfish and oblivious manner which could be detrimental to your health, then communication between bikers and other motorists via hand signals are critical towards staying safe at all times.


Motorcycle Left Turn

Pull over is an invitation to a severe b******ing from an angry biker by the road side in order to determine who was at fault, this is sometimes accompanied by sharp increases in revs from the engine.



Motorcycle Right Turn

I’ll box the head a ya  A clenched fist indicates to other motorists that you are now quite angry, upset and willing to beat people up for their stupidity and misbehaviour on the public road.




Ya bender A derogatory signal often aimed at motorists who lock their doors and want to avoid confrontation, it calls into question their very masculinity which can sometimes be offensive.



Motorcycle Speed Up

WTF dude? A show of dismay, often aimed at people much bigger than you who could possibly gain the upper-hand in a road-side wrestle or fist fight, but shows you are unwilling to let it slide none the less.



Motorcycle Slow Down

Tentative ‘pull over’  Half-hearted gesture to make you feel better but secretly in the hope that they wont pull up, often directed towards truck drivers and foreigners about whom it is difficult to ascertain if they could be > 6ft4 in stature.



Follow Me

No problem Often follows an acknowledgement by the other road user, usually a popular & well-known neighbour with a nice daughter, that they could have inadvertently killed you, none the less you’d rather not labour the point because they waved a kind gesture which made you feel a lot better.



Motorcycle You Lead Come

You Brainless c***, pull over Attempts to breathe slowly while maintaining composure with people you shouldn’t really beat the s*** out of, such as pensioners, women and priests, but would rather engage in a stern talk and re-educate them on the consequences of their actions.



Motorcycle Road Hazard

Pull over for a kick up the hole A half hearted signal for other motorists to express dismay at their behaviour while exercising restraint with synchronised knee movements in an up the hole fashion.



Motorcycle Single File

Winner Alright First Biker to the post while slowing down from a Hoolie run in order to let the group of ensuing riders know who won a tightly run contest, an informal and unwritten expression of glee and triumph at being quite talented & clever.



Motorcycle Double File

Hafta s***e Pulling in for a number 2 – an urgent message expressing the need to evacuate ones bowels at the nearest available lavatory and opportunity, usually follows an excessively high speed run and ‘close call’ with other traffic that could have went pear-shaped in spectacular fashion.



Motorcycle Comfort Stop

G’on y’wanker  Poking fun at another motorist, usually a BMW driver or boy-racer who thought he were fast but took umbrage at your shockingly quick overtake and exhibition of real speed, with a flashing of lights or blowing their horn in scornful protest & disbelief.



Motorcycle Comfort Stop

Itchy Nose completely forgetting you had a helmet on while attempting to scratch or pick your nose thru the visor, usually an involuntary movement while waiting at the lights after being distracted by hot totty and nonchalantly a**essing possible escape routes from your immediate playground.



Motorcycle Turn Signal On

Frozen hands Attempts to increase blood-flow and circulation with rapid hand movement and finger articulations while riding through the winter months with shyte gloves, no heated grips, early onset of arthritis and fingers being frozen solid.



Motorcycle Pull Off

Hail Hitler A pursuing Garda’s gesture often synonymous with a misunderstood Austrian who allegedly introduced 6-million Jews to Zyklon B during a WW2 roadside breath-test, do you risk pulling over to be turned into soap and your skin draped over a lamp-shade ? me neither, pin it.



Motorcycle Cops Ahead

Dick Head Enlightens a fellow muppet road user in no uncertain terms as to their propensity and footing on the richter scale of wankerism during the course of their conduct on a public road, the head being the highest point articulates a not inconsiderable misdemeanour often caused by, but not exclusive to ‘suits’.



Motorcycle Fuel

‘Sup b****es Attempts to looks like you’re just casually relaxing while riding a noisy piece of s*** down a busy street, esp. when there are impressionable females present and you’d rather not be regarded as a go-go power-ranger, usually undertaken when you’ve not got laid or had any attention for several weeks.



Most motorcycle hand signals are fairly intuitive, especially when combined with appropriate body language; however, new riders may be confused upon first seeing them.