Former Cycling Ireland president “lucky to be alive” after road rage attack

Posted on: May 22nd, 2019

Cycling Ireland former president PJ Nolan is recovering after a violent attack near his farm in Co Meath.

Former Cycling Ireland president and national cyclocross champion, PJ Nolan, has said he was lucky to be alive after an unprovoked road rage attack.

Last Sunday week he was left unconscious on a road close to his home in Navan, Co Meath, after being attacked by another driver.

Nolan, from a very well known cycling family synonymous with Navan Road Club, told the Meath Chronicle he was driving home from the shops when the attack occurred.

He said he met a driver in another car travelling towards him while texting. This forced Nolan into the ditch to avoid the oncoming vehicle.

As a result, his shopping was thrown around the back of his car. He said he got out to fix it when the other driver came back to where he was and attacked him.

“I got out to have a look at my groceries to see what happened (then) this big guy comes over and starts shouting abusively in some foreign language,” he said.

“Next thing I know; someone picked me up off the road sometime later,” he said. “The first person I remember talking to was my neighbour.

“He picked me up because I was lying on the road. I could have been run over. I was lying across the road; cars could have run over me.” 

However, while his neighbour came to his aid, Nolan had suffered a head injury and was badly concussed.

“I’m still concussed. I can’t work, I couldn’t drive now, I wouldn’t be able to,” he said of his current situation.

“It’s very annoying when you think all you are doing is coming home from the shops on a Sunday evening and somebody comes along and does that to you.

“Obviously it wasn’t normal behaviour; I’ve never seen that type of behaviour before,” he said, adding he was stunned a minor road incident had resulted in such violence.

As well as being a former Cycling Ireland president and a former elite national cyclocross champion, PJ Nolan is also currently a member of the Olympic Council of Ireland.

His brother John was also a top level cyclist and John’s son Sean has followed the family’s cycling tradition; representing Ireland this year at the World Cyclocross Championships.

PJ Nolan was taken to hospital from the scene last Sunday week and after being kept in overnight was discharged. He now faces a period of recovery for his concussion.

Nolan added he had worked as an election observer in flashpoint countries all over the world yet nothing had ever happened to him in those places.

“I am lucky, I’m still here. But it does make you very wary about any interaction with some people,” he said.

“It’s just a case of mad, road rage, totally unprovoked. I worked in war zones for the UN and survived. Yet you’re 300 yards from your own home and this happens to you.”

Gardai in Navan are investigating the incident. Everybody on stickybottle wishes PJ Nolan a speedy and full recovery.

Pictured during a video shoot for the Meath Heritage Tour sportive; Nolan still promotes cycling in his native county