Northern Ireland

Royal Victoria Hospital surgeon dies on cycling trip in France

RVH cardiac surgeon Simon MacGowan
RVH cardiac surgeon Simon MacGowan

A Royal Victoria Hospital heart surgeon has died on a cycling holiday in France.

Simon MacGowan, a member of the Bray Wheelers and North Down cycling clubs, was part of a group on a cycling trip in the French Alps.

Mr MacGowan passed away in the French city of Nice over the weekend. He was a cardiothoracic surgeon at the RVH.

In a statement on social media, the Bray Wheelers said the club was "consumed with sadness to learn of the tragic loss of our club member and friend”.

“He was a hugely popular man in the Irish cycling community and we pass on our sincere condolences to all his family and friends.

“They are all in our thoughts at this most difficult time."

Mr MacGowan graduated from the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin in 1983 and was a  consultant cardiac surgeon in Belfast from 1996.

He was also a Fellow of the European Board of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeons and the American College of Surgeons.

Brian Harris, press officer for Bray Wheelers, told the Wicklow People: “Everyone at the club is in complete shock at Simon’s passing."