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Monday 26 September 2016

'A great light has gone out' - Sister's tribute to Irishman killed in motorbike hit-and-run in Cambodia

David Kearns

Published 10/09/2015 | 12:45

Tributes have poured in for an Irishman left to die by a roadside in Cambodia following a hit and run.

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Kieran ‘Greener’ O’Brien (46) was killed in the Kandal province in the southeast region of the country last Saturday at 6:30am when his motorbike was ‘clipped’ by a passing car, sending the Irishman skidding more than 30 metres along the road before he fell into a hole filled with water.

According to local reports, the father-of-one, originally from Firhouse in county Dublin, was driving at about 80kph when he was thrown from his motorbike.

Cambodian police confirmed the death, saying that the 46-year-old was “was possibly knocked on the side of his [left] hand by a car.”

“He was not wearing a helmet and was likely knocked unconscious before he landed in the water,” said District Police Chief Young Koung.

“If he did not fall into the water, maybe we could have helped him in time,” he added.

Mr Koung said there were no witnesses to the accident and that police were still searching for the driver who hit Mr O’Brien.

In a touching post on Facebook, Mr O’Brien’s sister wrote that “a great light has gone out”.

“On behalf of our family I would like to thank everyone for such kind words about our wild boy greener,” said Marie O' Brien.

“He did indeed have a big heart and a very unorthodox sense of humour. A great light has gone out. He will be missed. Rest in peace by dear brother.”

The Irishman’s Cambodian ex-wife Ros Srey Noch (26) said Mr O’Brien had lived in Phnom Penh for several years and had a 6-year-old daughter.

“He loved his daughter and I wish my daughter had not lost her father,” she said.

The 46-year-old’s former GAA club St Annes also paid tribute to the father-of-one, saying: “With great sadness we say goodbye to a dear friend and larger-than-life character Kieran (Greener) O’Brien.”

“All at St Anne’s GAA Club would like to express our sincere condolences to the O’Brien family at this time. May he rest in peace."

Multiple messages were left on St Annes Facebook page, with many describing Mr O’Brien as a “great bloke” and a “shining bright knight”.

“He was a character who will be missed by many,” wrote one person, while someone wrote said they would miss his “unorthodox sense of humour and quick wit”.

“Rest in peace a lovely man have a few but very nice memories of him,” said another post.

A spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed Mr O'Brien's death, adding that consular assistance was being provided to his family.

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