Wednesday 13 November 2019

Garda launch witness appeal after man (68) killed in hit and run

Gardai conducting enquiries in Glengoole Thurles in relation to the death of a 68 year old man photo in a hit and run case. Photo: John D Kelly
Gardai conducting enquiries in Glengoole Thurles in relation to the death of a 68 year old man photo in a hit and run case. Photo: John D Kelly
Inspector Padraic Powell Thurles Garda Station speaking at the press conferaence in relation to the tragic accident outside Glengoole, Thurles in which a 68-year-old man lost his life. Photo: John D Kelly
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Conor Feehan and Gavin White

A 68-year-old man has been killed in a hit and run in Thurles overnight.

The man has been named locally as Michael Stapleton from Glengoole, Thurles, Co Tipperary.

It is understood the retired man was killed just ten to 20 meters from his own home around 10.20pm last night.

Gardaí are appealing for witnesses who may have been on the Glengoole to Ballysloe road between 9pm and 10.45pm yesterday evening, and for members of the public who may have recording devices in their car, to contact the Station immediately.

Inspector Padraic Powell Thurles Garda Station speaking at the press conferaence in relation to the tragic accident outside Glengoole, Thurles in which a 68-year-old man lost his life. Photo: John D Kelly
Inspector Padraic Powell Thurles Garda Station speaking at the press conferaence in relation to the tragic accident outside Glengoole, Thurles in which a 68-year-old man lost his life. Photo: John D Kelly

“We are also specifically appealing to the driver to come forward, or a member of their family who may have information in relation to it, or notice that a driver has been acting suspiciously, or that there was damage done to a car, or that it’s been unaccounted for,” said Inspector Pádraic Powell of Thurles Garda Station, who held a media briefing in Thurles Garda Station this morning at 11.30am.

The body of the deceased remains at the scene, and the road has been closed between Ballysloe and Glengoole for technical examination and local diversions have been put in place.

The body is to be removed to Waterford Hospital this evening, where the State Pathologist will carry out a post-mortem examination. The man lived close to the area where he died, and has family members in the vicinity.

Inspector Powell said Gardaí were notified of the incident by a member of the public, who performed CPR on the man at the scene. A number of ambulances rushed to the scene, accompanied by Thurles Gardaí.

“The body was kept at the scene due to the fact that the forensic division would find it easier to work during the day time. And also, we wanted to carry out a search of the area,” said Inspector Powell.

The area of the crash is a country road with no footpath. Inspector Powell warned motorists and pedestrians to take special care on country roads during the fine weather.

“Fortunately, the deaths in this Division are on the decrease compared to this time last year. We would ask that pedestrians and cyclists to wear yellow fluorescent jackets. We would ask drivers to reduce their speed, especially in rural areas,” he said. 

Father John J. O'Rourke, Parish Priest at Glengoole Church, said it was “so very sad to see this happen.”

“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.

It is understood that the man lived alone with his Mother living in a nursing home.

Before retiring recently it is believed he was involved in community work and employment services.

“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 told the Irish Independent.

Gardaí in Thurles are appealing for witnesses or anyone who can assist with the investigation of the incident to contact them on 0504 25100, the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.

A total of 16 people have already lost their lives on Irish roads in July so far.

According to gardaí there were seven road deaths in the last seven days, including four motorcyclists.

To date in 2017, 93 people have lost their lives on Irish roads - 15 less than in the same period last year.

Assistant Commissioner Michael Finn said:"This is an extremely high risk time on the roads. People are on holidays, more relaxed, more off guard. There are thousands of visitors from abroad, people travelling to unfamiliar locations, more agricultural machinery on the roads – these all form part of the how and why it’s riskier this time of year.

"We can see how easy it can turn to tragedy on the roads, as recently three people lost their life returning from a holiday and over the weekend four motorcyclists lost their life in fatal road crashes. Please take personal responsibility for how you act on the road no matter how you use it, and be as safe as you can be.”

Assistant Commissioner Finn added: "People are still speeding, and even in a recent 24 hour period we detected extremely excessive speeds. People are still drink or drug driving, using a mobile phone whilst driving and not wearing safety belts. These are high risk actions on the road. An Garda Síochána will continue to target these offences to make the roads safer.”

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