THE heartbroken wife of a surf fan who was killed in a hit-and-run accident tried desperately to revive him after she found him lying on the road.
Alan McSherry (48) was killed after he was struck by a car in the early hours of yesterday on the outskirts of Bundoran, Co Donegal.
He had been celebrating a friend's birthday party in the Bridge Bar in the town and was walking the short distance home to Boynagh in Co Leitrim when he was struck.
His wife Jo had left the party earlier in the night but went looking for her husband just after 5am when she awoke and noticed missed calls from him.
She drove toward Bundoran to collect him but discovered him lying seriously injured in the middle of Newtown Road, a narrow and unlit road, just 10 minutes from their home.
She immediately called the emergency services and performed CPR on her husband until they arrived.
But his injuries were too great and he was pronounced dead at the scene. Pieces of the car which struck him also remained at the scene.
"Jo found him but there was nothing she could do. He was lying in the middle of the road," his niece Tara McSherry told the Irish Independent.
Gardai have now launched a hunt for the driver of the car who failed to stop at the scene. They conducted door-to-door enquiries in the area yesterday. Mr McSherry's remains were brought to Sligo General Hospital where a post-mortem will be carried out.
Mr McSherry and his wife were originally from the Birkenhead area of England. They moved to Ireland almost 17 years ago to pursue their mutual love of surfing. Mr McSherry carried out maintenance work around Bundoran and was popular in the area.
Yesterday, his niece paid tribute to her uncle and told how he had fallen in love with his adopted home of Boynagh near Bundoran.
"He loved it here, they both did. They moved over for the surfing but they really became a part of the town. He was a handiman and everyone knew him, he did jobs for everyone," she said.
Early yesterday, news of the tragic death was broken to Mr McSherry's parents Ursula and Frank and brothers Terry and Andrew, who still live in England.
"We're all just in shock, we're just trying to get things in order for when we get him home," added Tara.
Noel Madden, who owns the Bridge Bar in Bundoran, told of his shock at the sudden death of his friend yesterday.
"He was a gentleman and a great friend of ours. He was big into surfing but also rock climbing, cycling and every sort of outdoor sport.
"He did work for us throughout the years and we were personal friends. He had just been enjoying a few social drinks to celebrate a friend's birthday and must have started walking home when he couldn't get a taxi," he added.
The scene of the accident remained sealed off yesterday as a forensic examination was carried out. Gardai confirmed that they had found car remains at the scene but would not release details for operational reasons.
They appealed to the driver of the car or anyone who may have information to contact gardai at Ballyshannon garda station on 071-9858530, or the garda confidential line on 1800 666 111.
By Caroline Crawford