Remembering Stephen Coyne
It is hard to believe that it is six years since Stephen Coyne, an active member of Dublin Cycling Campaign back in the 1990s and 2000s, died suddenly at his home in Drimnagh in Dublin.
Stephen was very engaged with the Campaign in its early years when we were meeting regularly in Mother Red Cap’s Tavern on Back Lane near Christchurch and in the City Arts Centre on the corner of Moss Street and City Quay – with both of those fine venues long since closed. With his giant hands and huge frame, Stephen was as strong as a horse and a great man to have around when we were planning and constructing very elaborate bicycle based floats for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade around the late 1990s, such as with our re-enactment of the Battle of Clontarf (Cycleway) and our Angels on Bikes presence – as well as when running many protests to highlight the snail’s pace of advancing the building of Dublin’s Cycle Network.
Stephen was a great community person, good fun to be around, and very passionate about his environmental campaigning – in Dublin Cycling Campaign, the Dublin Food Coop and in advocating for more deciduous tree planting and more sensible forestry policies. You would often bump into Stephen en route to a DCC Committee meeting after he had just come from another Board meeting - and then he was off to a further NGO gathering later on.
When the Square Wheel Cycleworks on Temple Lane South finally closed its doors, Stephen rallied the old DCC troops to help Kieran Byrne with the giant tidy up and clear out – no mean feat!
I still miss bumping into Stephen while out and about in Dublin 10 and 12 or in the city centre, and am thinking about him as the new year kicks off.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.
Damien Ó Tuama
PS. Thanks to Graeme Howard for the photo above of Stephen (taken in 2006 in the courtyard of The Tailors’ Hall when Stephen was on the Coordinating Body of the Dublin Food Coop). The Condolences page of the RIP.ie notice for Stephen can be read here.
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