Wednesday 14 November 2018

Gun victim crashed tractor into wall as he fled scene to get help

Derry Coakley
Derry Coakley
Cllr Ted Lucey pictured in the Market Square in Macroom (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)
Scene of the fatal shooting of a 58 year old Derry Coakley in Raleigh, Macroom, Co Cork (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)
Scene of the fatal shooting of a 58 year old Derry Coakley in Raleigh, Macroom, Co Cork (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)
The area where Derry Coakley was working before he was shot in Raleigh, North Macroom Co Cor (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)
The area where Derry Coakley was working before he was shot in Raleigh, North Macroom Co Cor (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)
The area where Derry Coakley was working before he was shot in Raleigh, North Macroom Co Cor (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)
The area where Derry Coakley was working before he was shot in Raleigh, North Macroom Co Cor (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)
A yellow digger in the area where Derry Coakley was working before he was shot in Raleigh, North Macroom Co Cor (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)
Investigation: A digger near the place where Derry Coakley was shot in Raleigh North, Macroom, Co Cork. Photo: Kyran O’Brien
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

Macroom gun victim Derry Coakley managed to escape the rural house where he was shot and make it to the public road before his tractor crashed into a wall as he lost consciousness.

The 58-year-old contractor was shot in the Raleigh North townland about 4km from the Co Cork town at around 11.30pm on Tuesday.

Although Mr Coakley was seriously injured, he managed to raise the alarm by ringing a friend and then drove from the scene in his own tractor.

But around 300 metres along the secluded and unlit public roadway, Mr Coakley's tractor ran into a wall as his condition deteriorated.

A separate Garda cordon was set up around the tractor after Mr Coakley was found unconscious there.

Some stones from the wall had been knocked out in the crash and could be seen on the roadside yesterday.

The road at Raleigh North was open to the public again yesterday but the house where the shooting took place was still sealed off by gardaí.

A patrol car and an incident command vehicle were parked outside the front gate.

Two Garda evidence bags could be seen at the entrance to the property, which is accessed by a long, curving driveway.

One bag appeared to be covering something on the ground.

The second one, containing an unknown object, was leaning against a wall.

At the end of the driveway a yellow digger could be seen.

It is not known if Mr Coakley had been operating the digger, but the belief in the town is that he had been working on land next to the farmhouse when he was shot, and may have been the innocent victim of a local dispute.

The quiet roadway looks down into a valley of farmland with mountains in the distance.

A post-mortem was carried out on Mr Coakley's body yesterday and gardaí are awaiting the results before deciding what direction their investigation should take.

It is understood that Mr Coakley had travelled from Macroom, where he lived with his mother, to the plot of land earlier that night. At some point while he was there, a shotgun was fired and Mr Coakley was hit.

Local sources said they had heard he was hit in the hand and arm and survived long enough to raise the alarm by ringing a friend.

Gardaí were last night continuing to question a man in his 60s.

He was being detained at Bandon garda station under Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act, according to a Garda spokesperson.

Gardaí have appealed for anyone who has any information or who was in the Raleigh North area of Macroom between 10.30pm and midnight on Tuesday to contact Macroom garda station on 026-20590, the Garda Confidential line on 1800-666-111 or any Garda station.

Irish Independent

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