Thursday 17 January 2019

Man quizzed over teleporter death of elderly woman was known to victim

Chrissie Treacy
Chrissie Treacy
Tragic: The body of Chrissie Treacy is taken away from the farm in Portumna last April. Photo: Hany Marzouk
Tom Brady

Tom Brady

A man being questioned by gardaí about the death of an elderly woman, struck by a teleporter on a farm earlier this year, was well known to her.

Chrissie Treacy (75) was killed after the collision with the large agricultural vehicle on the family farm at Boula, on the outskirts of Portumna, Co Galway, last April.

Tragic: The body of Chrissie Treacy is taken away from the farm in Portumna last April. Photo: Hany Marzouk
Tragic: The body of Chrissie Treacy is taken away from the farm in Portumna last April. Photo: Hany Marzouk

The suspect was detained by gardaí yesterday following a lengthy investigation that included detailed examination of a number of potential crime scenes that had been preserved on the farm, as well as interviews with witnesses.

The man, who is in his 50s, was last night being held at Loughrea garda station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984.

This allows officers to detain him without charge for up to 24 hours, excluding rest periods.

The body of the victim, who lived alone, was found with horrific injuries on the afternoon of April 27 last after she had been fatally struck by the teleporter.

A Garda forensic team and a State pathologist were called as officers began investigating the circumstances surrounding Ms Treacy's death.

The man arrested yesterday was one of the witnesses initially interviewed by gardaí.

At the time, gardaí said they were examining a number of lines of inquiry.

One set of inquiries focused on Ms Treacy's relationships with people known to her in the weeks before her death, in an effort to establish if she had been in conflict with anybody.

Investigating officers are understood to be close to completing a file on Ms Treacy's death for the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Parish priest Fr Michael Byrnes, who had also been called to the scene, said later: "This was a terrible tragedy.

"To say this small community was stunned would be an understatement.

"People are genuinely saddened at the death of this warm, hard working lady, who was well known".

Former parish priest Fr Brendan Lawless said Ms Treacy's death was hugely upsetting.

"She was the last of her generation on the farm. Her late brothers won cups and prizes for their cattle.

"She was very kind and generous to everybody and regularly attended day care in the area," he said.

Last week, Kerry farmer Michael Ferris was jailed for five years for the manslaughter of his neighbour, Anthony O'Mahony, after he had repeatedly driven a teleporter into Mr O'Mahony's car as the victim sat inside.

His trial had heard the incident on April 4 last year arose out of a decades-long row over a noisy bird-scaring device.

In October, Ferris was found not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter.

Irish Independent

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