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Wednesday 21 February 2018

Man in his 40s arrested over fatal hit-and-run of 'well known' pensioner

Gardaí conducting enquiries in Glengoole, Thurles, Co Tipperary, in relation to the death of Michael Stapleton. Photo:
Gardaí conducting enquiries in Glengoole, Thurles, Co Tipperary, in relation to the death of Michael Stapleton. Photo:

Gavin White

A man has been arrested by gardaí investigating a fatal hit-and-run in Co Tipperary on Sunday night.

The man, aged in his 40s, was arrested yesterday afternoon and was detained at Thurles garda station.

Michael Stapleton (68), from Glengoole, Thurles, Co Tipperary, was hit a short distance from his house at around 10.20pm on Sunday.

It is understood that the man lived, alone while his mother lived in a nursing home.

Mr Stapleton had family members living close by.

Gardaí were notified of the incident by a member of the public, who performed CPR on the man at the scene.

Father John J O'Rourke, parish priest at Glengoole Church, said it was "so very sad".

"He was very well known in the area and he would have walked to and from the village very often," Fr O'Rourke said.

"If you don't have a means of driving, the risks are always there walking along the roads," he told the Irish Independent.

Before retiring recently it is believed Mr Stapleton was involved in community work and employment services in the area.

"You can imagine the need to travel to the village while living on your own, there may be a bit of loneliness there," Fr O'Rourke said.

Local councillor John Fahey said the death was a "terrible incident".

"It's a lovely community down there, one where everyone will be looking out for one another all of the time," he said.

Neighbours had been visited by gardaí, as the body of the man remained at the scene until yesterday afternoon.

The body was set to be moved to Waterford Hospital last night, where the State pathologist will carry out a post-mortem examination.

Despite a decrease in fatalities last month, with 16 deaths compared to 21 in July 2016, gardaí are urging extra care on the roads. Four motorcyclists lost their lives last weekend, bringing the death toll to 93 people so far this year.

Gardaí are pleading with drivers not to be reckless, as speeding and drink driving remain a huge problem on Irish roads, as well as offences such as using a phone while driving and not wearing a seatbelt.

Irish Independent

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