Wednesday 13 December 2017

Gardai question Labour TD who knocked down boy (5) with car

Cormac Murphy and Conor Feehan

LABOUR TD Michael Conaghan has been quizzed by gardai after knocking down a young boy in his Dublin constituency.

The former Lord Mayor was travelling by car in Inchicore when he struck the five-year-old child, who was with his grandfather.

Mr Conaghan was questioned by gardai in relation to the incident, which happened as the boy was making his way across a pedestrian crossing on Sarsfield Road.

Allegations that he left the scene of the accident yesterday evening have been strongly rejected by his party.

A Labour spokesman said that Mr Conaghan was involved in the accident and remained on the scene until everybody else left.

“He was the last person to leave,” the spokesman said.

The TD passed on his details to the family of the victim before the boy was taken to Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Crumlin by taxi.

Mr Conaghan subsequently followed the child to hospital but by the time he got there the youngster had been discharged.

“Then he spoke in detail to gardai on a number of occasions later on in the day,” the spokesman said.

A witness said that after the accident Mr Conaghan got out of his car and was seen rubbing the crying boy's hand saying: “You'll be OK, you'll be OK”.

“The child was crying, and the grandfather was very angry and was thumping the headlights of the car shouting ‘you b******, where did you come from?”

It is understood that Mr Conaghan last night called to the boy's home where he was assured the youngster was fine.

While the grandfather was angry in the immediate aftermath of the incident, it is understood the family were friendly towards the TD last night.

Mr Conaghan could not be reached for a comment today.

In a statement, the Labour Party said: “We're aware that Michael has been involved in an accident.

“We understand that the child involved has been released from hospital and Michael is cooperating with gardai.”

Mr Conaghan (66), who lives in nearby Ballyfermot, was first elected to the Dail last year.

He was previously a city councillor for nearly 20 years and is very well known and respected in the local area.

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