Deer collides with cyclist during Dublin city triathlon

Shane O'Reilly was struck by a stag as he took part in the Dublin City Triathlon. Picture by Erik Scraggs

A COMPETITOR in a Dublin triathlon event had to deal with much more than just the other participants when he was struck by a deer.

Shane O'Reilly was cycling in Phoenix Park when a stag jumped into him during the cycling part of the Dublin City Triathlon course on Sunday.

Photographer Erik Scraggs captured the moment Mr O'Reilly was struck by the animal, with just 10km left to go in the cycle race.

Remarkably the 30-year-old competitor from Backrock in Co Dublin was able to get up and carry on the race after being left with just a cracked helmet.

"The helmet definitely saved me," he told RTÉ.

"Apart from that, my shoulder was a bit sore and I had a headache."

Mr O'Reilly finished the race, which saw more than 1,000 people take part, in two hours 25 minutes.

Mr Scraggs also said he could not believe what happened at the Dublin city centre park, which is home to around 500 deer.

"As I was standing waiting for a group of cyclists to approach, I heard a rustling behind me and I turned to see a couple of stags ruining parallel to the road," he said.

"I had a feeling they might make their way across the cyclists' path, so I tracked them though my lens.

"I never envisaged that they would actually try and leap over the cyclists. It all happened so fast. It was a really heavy crash.

"It was a relief to see the competitor get back to his feet and continue."

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