HIT and run victim Paud O'Leary was just two kilometres from his home when he was struck by a vehicle at Srahanfadda, Gneeveguilla, some time between 7.30am and 10am on Sunday morning.
Gardaí say the 42-yearold's injuries suggest he had been struck by an oncoming vehicle. The victim is believed to have left his home just minutes earlier and was cycling in the Killarney direction when the incident occurred.
Mr O'Leary's body was found below a ditch off the roadside following an extensive search of the area. The point of impact is close to the brow of a hill within an 80kmph zone. Conditions were dry but the road surface was wet.
The discovery followed a search initiatied after the father-of-four failed to return home by 10am when he was due to take his sons to football training.
"He wasn't responding to calls when he didn't turn up and so it was obvious that something was wrong as he never put any excuses before his kids," his brother Dermot stated.
"He was always seen around on his bike and people could set their watches by him. We believe he was killed instantly, that's the only consolation," he added.
The incident has sent shockwaves across east Kerry as the family is well known in sporting circles. A former pupil of Gneeveguilla National School and Rathmore Vocational Secondary, the deceased leaves behind wife Maggie and children Shannon, Antoinette, Paudie and Ross. Paudie, who made his first communion just a few weeks ago, is due to travel to Athlone with Ross to participate in the national Community Games Finals, while Shannon is a Kerry under-14 footballer. The victim also leaves behind siblings Mairead, Aeneas, Owen, Seán Óg, Dermot, Maura G and Loretto and parents Maunie and Seán Jackie.
Paud played senior football with Gneeveguilla GAA Club where he was involved in training underage teams. He also played soccer for local club QPR.
"I want to thank everybody including our good gardai and the fire brigade.
"The locals have been absolutely beyond belief and we wish to acknowledge that," Dermot continued, adding, "he was an absolute rock and he couldn't do enough for you".
Gardaí say they wish to speak to the driver of a grey Toyota 4x4 with respect to the collision.
"Anyone with any information or a sighting of a grey Toyota 4x4 in the area should contact the incident room at Kanturk on (029) 20680," Inspector Gerry Lacey stated.