Thursday 8 December 2016

Ambulance tragedy: Locals shocked by death of 'the nicest man you could ever meet'

Published 23/09/2016 | 02:30

The ambulance is taken away from the scene. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
The ambulance is taken away from the scene. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.

Locals in the small Kildare village of Suncroft are struggling to come to terms with the tragic death of Christopher Byrne.

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One man, who was friends with Mr Byrne (78), said he had been left devastated.

HSE director general Tony O’Brien addresses the media at Naas General Hospital, Kildare.
Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
HSE director general Tony O’Brien addresses the media at Naas General Hospital, Kildare. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

"We are only just after hearing about what happened. To be honest, I'm in absolute shock," he said.

Mr Byrne lived in Ard Brid, a cluster of houses where people were said to know each other well.

It is an area populated with mostly mature residents, who have been left in disbelief about what happened.

"He was the nicest man you could ever meet. He really was just a gent," the man said.

"He was the nicest man in the world, I just don't know what else to say. It's terrible and an absolute tragedy," he added.

Another local woman said she had seen an ambulance at the house after 1pm and had been praying for Mr Byrne.

"When I heard the news on the radio, I feared the worst. Isn't it only dreadful?" she said.

"I saw the ambulance pull up there, so the man was in my prayers," she added.

Staff prepare the damaged ambulance to be taken away for further examination. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
Staff prepare the damaged ambulance to be taken away for further examination. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.

It is understood the ambulance had responded to a 999 call.

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News of the tragedy was only starting to trickle through and some expressed shocked that it was a local man.

"I heard someone talking about it earlier in the bar.

"It was just something I'd overheard, but I didn't know he was from around here. It's so sad to hear that," said a woman in the local pub, The Well.

A family member was too distressed to speak when approached at Mr Byrne's home yesterday.

The family have requested privacy to grieve.

Irish Independent

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