Wednesday 24 October 2018

Teenager dies after attack on garda’s house

Jamie Ducey (18) was found dead in a stream close to the Sallybrook estate in Dungarvan, Co Waterford.
Scene at Sallybrook, Dungarvan, Waterford where the incident happened this morning. Picture: Caroline Quinn
The scene this morning in Dungarvan. Picture Gareth Higgins @gtahiggins
The scene following the raid this morning Dungarvan. Picture Gareth Higgins @gtahiggins
The scene following the raid this morning Dungarvan. Picture Gareth Higgins @gtahiggins

By Conor Feehan and Ken Foy

THIS is the young man who died after an attack on a senior Garda’s home last night.

Jamie Ducey (18) was found dead in a stream close to the Sallybrook estate in Dungarvan, Co Waterford.

A massive Garda investigation has been launched following an incident at the home of garda superintendent Michael Leacy.

Supt Leacy suffered head injuries in a bottle attack at his house.

Senior sources told the Herald that the incident unfolded at around midnight when a group of up to four youths who had been drinking began throwing bottles into the gardens of houses in the estate.

One of the homes that they targeted was that of Supt Leacy, who went out to confront the men after contacting his colleagues at the local garda station.

When he did this, one of the youths threw a bottle at the senior garda, who was hit on the back of the head as he stood outside his family home.

A large number of garda units arrived at the scene and the youths fled the area. Gardai pursued them.

One of the youths, who has been named locally as James Ducey (18), was later found dead at a stream close to the Sallybrook estate in the town.

It is understood that Mr Ducey, who is from Dungarvan, may have drowned but this had not been confirmed at the time of going to press.

It was also being reported locally that he received injuries on agricultural equipment and then fell into the water.

Today Jamie’s family said they were shocked at the news.

“He was a quiet young lad and we just don’t know what happened,” said his uncle Mattie in Dungarvan town.

“We’re still waiting to hear what went on and how Jamie died, but it’s a massive shock to us,” he added.

Jamie lived with his mother Lisa in the town.

“He loved music and football, like any lad, and Liverpool was his team,” said Mattie. “He was doing a course in sports and recreation.”

The other three men – all understood to be aged 19  and from the locality – were  arrested some time later.

The Coast Guard helicopter was called out early this morning to help in the search for them. It is understood that the suspects were arrested at a beach area.

The Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) is now involved in the investigation because of the fact that Mr Ducey died during the incident.

An investigation team from GSOC rushed to the scene this morning while the three men remain in garda custody in Dungarvan this afternoon.

Eye-witness Gareth Higgins said he woke at 2.15am to the noise of a coast guard helicopter hovering above his house in Abbeyside.

“I didn’t know what was happening. At first I thought it might be a rescue, but then I went up to the road and saw a garda van flying up the road,” he said.


“There was a section of Clonea Road closed so I knew there was something up.

“I could see about 20 coast guard guys and two garda vans, as well as a fire brigade, and they were searching a marshy area behind our houses, they had floodlights on and were focused on one particular place,” he told the Herald.

Highly respected Superintendent Michael Leacy was recovering from his injuries today and did not wish to comment on his ordeal. He is expected to make a full recovery.

A senior source said that gardai are shocked that a senior member of the force would be targeted in such a way.

“Supt Leacy is lucky he was not seriously injured,” a senior source said.

A GSOC spokesperson appealed for information on the incident and said in a statement: “The death occurred ... following the response of gardaí to an incident in a housing estate in Dungarvan. A team of GSOC investigators is in Dungarvan ... and the investigation is under way.”

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