THE heartbroken husband of an American woman who died in a cycling accident at the Gap of Dunloe has paid tribute to the people of Kerry and local gardaí in a touching letter.
Don Theiler was on holiday in Ireland with his wife Janet last month when she was killed in a tragic accident while cycling.
Janet Theiler, who was in her 60s, was pronounced dead at the scene after she collided with a 4 X 4 vehicle at around 3pm on May 30.
In his poignant letter titled A Tribute to the people of Killarney, Don Theiler recounted the moment the couple's vacation turned to tragedy.
"We were concluding our trip and arrived in Killarney on the evening of May 29 with a day to spend in Killarney before departing for the United States early on the morning of the 31st," he wrote.
"We decided to rent bikes on the 30th and see the sites on the lakes in Killarney National Park and the Dunloe Gap.
"All was going well until Janet rounded and extremely sharp turn on the very narrow road in Dunloe Gap and struck a trailer full of lambs being pulled by a truck.”
"She was killed during the accident," he added.
Mr Theiler said that immediately after the accident, he wanted to leave Ireland as quickly as possible and never return.
But he said that within 64 hours of the tragic accident, local people had made him feel so at ease that he one day looks forward to returning to thank them for their “selfless and generous way”.
“What followed was an extraordinary outpouring of kindness and help from everyone we encountered following this tragedy, especially the police force of your city,” he said.
“Only a fraction of people in your city of Killarney know who I am, but I feel like I know and have a very warm spot in my heart for the entire community.
“You were there at the worst moment in my life and helped ease the pain in extraordinary ways, most especially with the selfless help of some wonderful people.”
He continued: “Thank you Killarney you will be forever in our hearts.”
Gardaí took to Facebook to share the tribute email saying “it speaks for itself”.
They wrote: “This morning, An Garda Síochána, Kerry received the attached email from Mr. Don Theiler, whose wife Janet was fatally injured in a Road Traffic Collision on the outskirts of Killarney on May 30, 2017. The email is titled A Tribute to the People of Killarney.
“The content of the letter speaks for itself. It is a heartfelt and touching account of how Mr Theiler was treated by the people of Killarney and the local gardai following the collision.
“We are very happy that our small acts of kindness meant so much to Mr Theiler in his time of need and are immensely proud of the members involved – Superintendent Flor Murphy, Sergeant Leo Randles, Garda Brendan O’Donovan, Garda Denis O’Mahony and Detective Garda Chris Manton.
“We have already expressed our deepest sympathies to Mr. Theiler and reiterate these sentiments today. May she rest in peace.”