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Sunday 21 January 2018

Father of two dies near home in hit-and-run

James Dillon: a passer-by found him injured on road
James Dillon: a passer-by found him injured on road

Colm Kelpie and Greg Harkin

A MAN who died following a hit-and-run had become a father for the second time just three months ago.

James Dillon was one of four people killed on the country's roads this bank holiday weekend.

The 29-year-old, from Gurteen, Killeigh, Tullamore, Co Offaly, was found with serious injuries on a rural road in Co Offaly in the early hours of Saturday morning.

He was rushed to Tullamore General Hospital but later died.

A man in his 50s, who was arrested on Saturday in connection with the incident, was released without charge yesterday.

A file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Mr Dillon, who worked in construction, was married to Claudia and was a father of two young girls, Meabh, two-and-a half years old, and Caragh, three months.

His uncle Paddy Dillon told the Irish Independent the family was devastated by what had happened.

"James was very athletic," Mr Dillon said. "He was in the local soccer team, loved sports, loved life. He was just like any good, typical young fella."

Mr Dillon had been attending a local soccer presentation ceremony on Friday evening and had left early, returning home by taxi. After being dropped off, it is believed he was struck by a car coming in the opposite direction.

A local woman saw him lying injured on the road and waited with him until the emergency services arrived.

One of Mr Dillon's sisters lives in Australia and is travelling home for the funeral, which will take place tomorrow at St Patrick's Church in Killeigh.

Local councillor Brendan Killeavy, who was at school with Mr Dillon, said the community was in shock.

"He would have been well-known around the whole area. He was a very popular, very nice lad. Nobody had a bad word to say about him," Mr Killeavy said.

Meanwhile, elderly couple Robert (79) and Mary (81) Condon, from Middleton, Co Cork, were killed in a two-car collision on Friday evening on a road packed with bank holiday commuters.

The accident -- at Lissarda on the main N22 Cork-Killarney Road -- occurred shortly before 6.30pm.

The car carrying the elderly couple was involved in a head-on collision with another vehicle carrying a family of four.

A third vehicle carrying two other people was then struck.

The other people involved in the crash were not believed to have been seriously injured.

A woman was also killed just after midnight on Saturday when the car she was driving crashed at Ballinagun, Upper Kells, Co Meath.

Mother-of-three Caroline Ginnity, of Oldcastle, Co Meath, was the only person in the car.

The 40-year-old was rushed to Our Lady's Hospital in Navan but later died from her injuries.

Her funeral is due to take place tomorrow. The deaths prompted gardai to make a renewed appeal to motorists to take care on the roads.

Irish Independent

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