Sports clubs rally to help pals injured in motorcycle crash
A close-knit sporting community is rallying around to help two popular motorcyclists who suffered life-changing injuries in a devastating accident last weekend.
Sports partners Philip McNally and Hughie Smyth remain in hospital in Dublin with spinal injuries .
Philip, from Trim, and Hughie, from Tallaght in Dublin, were taking part in race qualifiers for the motorcycle sidecar event in Mondello Park in Co Kildare last Saturday morning when the accident occurred.
It's understood both men, who are in their 30s, had made the fastest lap at the time of the tragedy. There were a total of 17 cars racing separately in time trials at the time.
A spokesperson for Mondello Park confirmed that the incident had occurred during the qualifiers.
Members of the Irish Sidecar and Motorcycle Supporters Club (ISAM) are now planning various fundraisers to support the men, who are both self-employed.
At present both men remain in the Mater Hospital in Dublin.
Friends say they face a long-road ahead of them, needing eventual treatment in the National Rehabilitation Centre in Dublin.
"The motorcycle fraternity is a very close family of friends and Philip and Hughie are hugely popular and well liked," said a club spokesperson.
"Philip loved racing and was the first Irish superbike cup winner on a solo machine before he switched to sidecar racing,"
"The club is meeting regularly and will work with the family to see how we can help long-term
"They face a long road ahead of them and we intend to be there every step of the way."
Rock Sidecar Racing has cancelled a planned Easter event due to 'current circumstances'
On their Facebook page, they say: "Unfortunately our F1 team of Philip and Hugh were involved in an incident in qualifying on Saturday morning at Mondello Park.
"The lads are currently receiving the absolute best treatment possible in hospital. It is still early days and we ask that the lads and their families are given their privacy and space at this challenging time.
"We will keep you all informed on their progress in due course and all your well wishes and messages of support are greatly appreciated and will be passed on to the lads. Thank you for your understanding.
"Under the current circumstances the team have decided to cancel our previously planned TT fundraiser in the Ballymakenny Hotel in Co. Louth on Easter Saturday.
"A later announcement will follow when a structured system of support is put in place to assist the lads on their road to recovery.
"We would like to take this opportunity to praise Mondello Park, the Marshalls, and the Medical and Rescue Team who assisted, and all the doctors and nurses that continue to care for Philip and Hugh.
"Rock Sidecar Racing would like to thank you all for your continued support at this time."