Saturday 20 January 2018

Driver of car that injured 3 pensioners was on bail

Scene of a crash where three pensioners were knocked down
Scene of a crash where three pensioners were knocked down

Kathryn Hayes and Barry Duggan

The 26-year-old driver of a car that ploughed into three elderly pensioners outside a pitch and putt course in Clare was on bail at the time.

Retired pensioner Eric Ryan (79) lost his leg following the horrific incident and remains in a critical condition at University Hospital Limerick.

The pensioner and two of his friends, retired garda Liam 'Willie' Barry (77) and retired postman Dermot O'Brien, who is also in his 70s, were chatting in the car park of the Parteen Pitch and Putt course when they were struck by a Hyundai Accent shortly after 5pm on Thursday.

The driver of the car is well known to gardai and was on bail for burglary offences at the time.

He and a second suspect are believed to have been involved in a spate of burglaries in the nearby Doonas area of Clonara earlier in the day.

They were being pursued by gardai when they drove straight through the junction of Parteen village and veered across the road, crashing into the three pensioners and two parked cars.

Both men fled the scene. The driver was arrested a short time later on a drink-driving charge but has since been re-arrested on suspicion of endangerment.

The second suspect remains at large.

The most seriously injured man Eric Ryan (77), from College Park, Corbally, Limerick, was pinned underneath the Hyundai and fire fighters had to use special cutting equipment to release him.

He remains in a critical condition at University Hospital Limerick.

his next-door neighbour and long-time friend Liam 'Willie' Barry was described last night as being in a stable condition at University Hospital Limerick.

The third man, Dermot O'Brien from Richmond Park in Corbally, has been discharged from hospital.

The three men had travelled in Mr Barry's car to Parteen for a game of pitch and putt, which they did every Tuesday and Thursday.

Their friend, retired garda Cormac Hurley was due to play with them but had to make a journey to Loughrea.

"Liam Barry is my brother-in-law. He's very badly shaken up, and I am just going out to see him in the hospital now. I felt sick when I heard about it all, it is just devastating.

"Eric Ryan is one of the nicest people you could meet, an exceptionally nice man who always saw me safely across the road and always looked after me knowing I have some health issues," added Mr Hurley.

Irish Independent

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