Monday 18 December 2017

Hit and run: ‘Somebody knows who killed Paudie’

Cyclist and father-of-four Paud O’Leary was killed in a hit-and-run in Co Kerry.
Liam O’Connor.
Liam O’Connor’s motorcycle lies under a Toyota following the fatal collision at a notorious blackspot on the Scarriff to Gort road in Co Galway yesterday.

Majella O'Sullivan and Gareth Naughton

GARDAI are hunting a hit-and-run driver who left a father-of-four who was training for a charity cycle, dead in a ditch.



GAA player Paudie O’Leary (42) of Leamyglissane, Gneeveguilla, Co Kerry was thrown from his bike at Scrahan Fada about 12 miles from Killarney yesterday morning.



It is believed he died sometime between 8.15am and 11am. However, his body was not found until some hours later when he failed to return home and his family raised the alarm.



He had been training to take part in the Ring of Kerry charity cycle and was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after lunchtime yesterday.



Gardai said today that the car involved must have been damaged in the incident and somebody must know what happened to the popular Kerry man.



They are seeking witnesses to this collision or anyone who may have travelled the road from/to Killarney via Gneeveguilla between 8am and 11am yesterday or who can assist them with their investigation to contact Kanturk Garda Station on 029 - 20680, The Garda Confidential Telephone Line 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.



Mr O'Leary's sudden death has caused deep shock in his community. A former footballer who had won a county minor championship medal, he was very involved with his local GAA.



A county league fixture between Gneeveguilla and Milltown was cancelled as a mark of respect following his death.



Public relations officer of Gneeveguilla GAA Moss O'Keeffe said the loss would be felt by the entire community.



"The whole place is numb and we couldn't have gone ahead with the match. This is a small community where everyone knows everybody else," he said.



Meanwhile, a biking enthusiast was killed when the motorcycle he was riding was involved in a collision with an oncoming car at a notorious blackspot on the Scarriff to Gort road in Galway yesterday morning.



The man was named locally as Liam O'Connor (28) from Croom in Limerick.



'Disbelief'



Mr O'Connor was on his way home having attended the Dal Riada Motorcycle Club 'Plan of Attack' rally in Killanena, Co Clare, the day before.



A spokesman for the club said that the biking community was in "shock and disbelief" following the death. The news filtered through to the biking community almost immediately after the incident with other bikers coming across the scene as they made their own way home. Mr O'Connor was described as a "happy-go-lucky" and "laid-back" man.



A local in Gort described the stretch of road where Mr O'Connor died as "atrocious" and said that it had been the scene of many accidents.



The driver and passenger of the car were taken to hospital after the accident. However, gardai described their injuries as minor.



Irish Independent

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