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Sunday 30 April 2017

Father of baby killed in crash shoots himself outside home

Edel O'Connell

A GRIEVING father who lost his baby daughter in a tragic car accident shot himself outside his home yesterday.

Darragh Best (25) was found dead on the road after shooting himself in the head outside the house he shared with his partner in the Jobstown area of Tallaght, Dublin, in the early hours of the morning.

His devastated partner, Bernadette McNevin, was last night being comforted by family members following the tragedy -- which came almost two years to the day that the couple's daughter died.

Seven-month-old Hannah Louise sustained serious head injuries in a car crash on March 6, 2009. She died at Temple Street Children's Hospital two days later.

An inquest was told that Ms McNevin had been driving her car with her daughter strapped into a rear-facing car seat when she crashed on a sharp left-hand bend in Castlerea, Co Roscommon.

The car hit a tree after it went out of control and crossed to the other side of the road.

Gardai discovered a piece of the child's car seat, which secured the safety belt, was missing from the rear of the seat.

The broken piece was later found between the seat and the handbrake and it was concluded that it had broken off during the impact.

Accident

Gardai were satisfied that the seat had been properly secured by Ms Nevin. The jury passed a verdict of accidental death.

Yesterday morning, Mr Best is understood to have walked out of his home shortly after 1.15am and shot himself in the head, while standing on the pavement outside the house.

Neighbours at the small cul de sac, off the sprawling Rossfield Park housing estate, expressed their shock.

"I just can't understand why somebody would do this, it is just awful," said one neighbour.

"I woke to the sound of a loud bang in the middle of the night. I can't believe what has happened, it is so tragic," said another.

"I don't know what happened last night, but they are very well known in the area, they had planned to get married soon.

"Bernadette's family have lived in the area for years and are well liked. It is just awful," said one man.

Gardai say they are investigating the incident but are treating it as a "personal tragedy".

Deputy state pathologist Dr Michael Curtis arrived at the scene to make a preliminary examination of the body before it was removed to Tallaght General Hospital.

The deceased is understood to be originally from St James Road in Walkinstown, Dublin.

He was in a relationship with Ms McNevin for a number of years and the couple had been engaged since last August.

The couple also have an infant son Michael.

Gardai are investigating where Mr Best sourced the 9mm handgun used in the shooting.

A technical examination by members of the garda technical bureau was carried out.

Irish Independent

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