This morning I returned to work after a 2 week family holiday . Like everyone it takes me a while to get back into the swing of things , but today was no ordinary day . At 9.23 my mobile beeped with a message . I looked at it and had to read it twice to believe it . Paul Helion was killed last night in a car crash in Ardee . I immediatly went into the office and the look on Ray’s face told me that he had already heard. He had just gotten of the phone with Brian Kenneally . Everyone was in shock .
When someone passes on , especially in such a tragic manner , very often there will be rose coloured tributes . In the case of Paul Helion, however, there will be many tributes and they will all be sincere . He was a hugely talented cyclist , a larger than life character and truly a nice guy .
Ray spent a few months living with Paul whilst they were both training for the track in Manchester and Newport and had many a tale of how hard they were training and the craic that he was having with Paul . There never seemed to be a dull moment as Paul was always in good humour .
Anytime that I saw Paul he was smiling . Even when it was spinning an eleven tearing the legs off of everyone , he still seemed to be enjoying himself . He enjoyed life , enjoyed riding his bike and enjoyed winning races .
Paul is survived by his wife Ann , who was the cornerstone to his cycling success .
Our thoughts and prayers are with Ann and both of their extended families at this time .
Barry and Ray