A verdict of death from natural causes was returned by the Coroner for Mayo, Pat O’Connor yesterday into the death of a 48-year-old Garda, who collapsed while on a leisure cycle on the Swinford to Kiltimagh road last May.

John McCallion, Carnacross, Swinford, was given medical attention at the scene in the townland of Tullinacurra by a number of off-duty nurses and a Garda before ambulance personnel arrivng.

Garda McCallion was later declared deceased at Mayo University Hospital, Castlebar.

Dr. Tamas Nemeth, consultant pathologist, who carried out a post mortem examination, gave the cause of death as acute myocardial infarction, with coronary artery thrombosis and severe coronary thrombosis.

Responding to a question from the coroner,  Dr, Nemeth said: “There is no evidence that physical exercise resulted in this thrombosis in any way”.

However, he said that exercising when underlying problems are present can result in heart attacks, and he recommended that people get screened before taking up exercise.

After delivering a verdict of death from natural causes, the coroner sympathised with the family of the deceased on what he described as “a dreadful tragedy” involving a relatively young man.

He added that An Garda Siochana will mourn for a long time the loss of a valued member of the Force, as well as the entire community in Swinford.

Inspector Denis Harrington, on behalf of An Garda Siochana, thanked all who rendered assistance at the scene, and said John's loss is still being felt within An Garda Siochana in Mayo.