'Everyone knew the Hatter' - popular DJ and father-of-three dies saving his dog
A popular Waterford DJ and entertainer died after he was knocked down by a truck while apparently trying to get his beloved dog off a road.
The man was named locally as father-of-three Michael Wright (60), a Waterford County Council employee but who was best known in west Waterford as an entertainer and DJ fondly dubbed 'The Mad Hatter'.
Mr Wright was a hugely respected figure in Dungarvan where he starred in local drama festivals, Christmas pantomimes and public charity events.
He was hit by a truck on the N25 Cork-Waterford road just outside Dungarvan shortly before 9pm on Sunday.
The incident occurred at Kilossera on the Youghal Road outside Dungarvan where Mr Wright had been out walking his dog.
Mr Wright stood as a local council candidate for the 2014 local elections.
His election slogan was the memorable 'Make your voice matter - vote for the Hatter'.
His wife, Teresa, is a former Mayor of Dungarvan and council member.
The couple lived at Congress Villas in the west Waterford town.
Mr Wright suffered critical injuries in the Kilossera accident and emergency services were at the scene within minutes.
Gardaí immediately closed the road and put diversions in place.
Despite desperate efforts by paramedics to stabilise his condition, Mr Wright was pronounced dead at the scene.
His remains were later transferred to University Hospital Waterford (UHW) for a full post-mortem examination.
Gardaí will now prepare a file for the Waterford County Coroner.
The road remained closed yesterday to facilitate the examination of the scene by Garda forensic experts.
Motorists were urged to avoid the area.
The truck driver was uninjured in the incident but was treated at the scene for shock.
Mr Wright is survived by his wife and three children; two daughters and a son.
One of his children got married just two weeks ago.
Councillor Damien Geoghegan paid tribute to Mr Wright and extended his sympathy to the family on their loss.
"He was one of the best known people in Dungarvan," he said.
"The entire town is in shock - we just cannot believe it."
Mr Wright offered his 'Mad Hatter' entertainment services via DJ work but also appeared in local plays and pantomimes, often as the dame at Christmas shows.
Locals described him as "one the greatest characters in Waterford".
"The whole place is heartbroken - everyone knew the 'Hatter,' God rest him," one person said.
Gardaí in Dungarvan are investigating all the circumstances surrounding the tragedy and have asked any witnesses or anyone with information to contact the local station on 058-48600, or any station.