Dead dad ordered teens to move away from his premises
FURTHER tests are to be carried out to determine if the death of a father of three is related to a minor scuffle with youths last week.
A post-mortem examination yesterday afternoon on the body of 53-year-old Deepak Abbi was inconclusive in determining the cause of death.
State Pathologist Marie Cassidy decided last night that additional tests should be completed before a finding is made.
Mr Abbi, an architect, was pushed up against a wall after he ordered three teenagers to move away from his premises in Drogheda last Thursday.
Witnesses have told gardai that one of the three pushed him up against the wall of Boylesports bookie's shop and he fell to the ground.
Gardai were called to the scene but the three 16-year-olds had disappeared.
Mr Abbi told officers he was not hurt and did not wish to make a formal complaint.
But he collapsed at his home on Sunday afternoon and was rushed to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda. His condition rapidly deteriorated and he was transferred to Beaumont Hospital in Dublin.
He became critical and was put on a life support machine, but he died there on Tuesday.
Gardai have set up an incident room at Drogheda station but are awaiting the results of the tests before deciding the next step in their investigation.
They have already interviewed a number of witnesses and have examined footage taken from CCTV cameras in the area where the incident took place, at Bessexwell Lane, off Shop Street.
Mr Abbi owned an architecture and project management firm in the lane and had encountered some anti-social behaviour in the area previously.
It is believed that he had told the youths, who had gathered in his hallway, to move away and was then pushed by one of them.
Gardai believe they know the identity of those involved in the incident.
Officers last night appealed to anybody who was in the area around 2.30pm last Thursday, to contact them at Drogheda station.
Flowers were delivered yesterday to the beautifully designed modern home, outside the town of Drogheda, where Mr Abbi's wife Anu, daughters Deepka and Esha, and son Kuvi, were being comforted by extended family.
A spokesman for the family said: "We are mourning a beloved husband and father and we ask that our wishes for privacy be respected."
Mayor of Drogheda, Paul Bell, joined the garda appeal for witnesses, urging anyone who might have seen any type of altercation in the area close to the architect's premises on Bessexwell Lane, off Shop Street, last Thursday.
"This kind of action cannot be allowed to go unchecked and unpunished. To say that the people of the town are distraught would be an understatement," he said.
A shopkeeper in a nearby premises said the laneway was known for "being rough" and there were often people hanging around there.
Padraic Kierans, president of the Drogheda Chamber of Commerce, described the incident as "deeply disturbing" and paid tribute to the prominent role Mr Abbi had taken in projects in Drogheda over the past three decades.
Mr Kierans, who was also a friend of Mr Abbi, said: "He was passionate about architecture and construction. He was a really enterprising individual and never depended on anyone for anything. His family and his wife Anu were the centre of his universe."
Mr Kierans added: "He was responsible for a number of regenerated buildings in Drogheda. He was a gentleman. His trademark was a smile and a handshake."