Tuesday 21 November 2017

Youth died after fall as he fled bottle attack on garda

Gardai examine the scene of the death of Jamie Ducey (inset)
Gardai examine the scene of the death of Jamie Ducey (inset)
Superintendent Michael Leacy from Dungarvan who was assaulted at his home in Seapark, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford. Picture: Patrick Browne
The place where teenager Jamie Ducie died in Dungarvan Co Waterford.

Tom Brady and Ralph Riegel

A teenager, who fled after a gang assaulted a garda superintendent with a bottle, fell as he jumped railings and sustained fatal injuries.

The dead youth has been named as Jamie Ducey (18), from Dungarvan, Co Waterford.

An independent investigation into his death is now under way but gardai are satisfied he died when he injured himself after scaling railings at the rear of a housing estate and fell into a stream.

They think he may have struck a pipe or rocks in the stream when he fell.

The incident took place shortly after youths had been involved in a confrontation with local garda superintendent Michael Leacy.

Supt Leacy was in bed around midnight at his home in the Seapark area when his wife heard bottles smashing at their front door.

He went outside to investigate and spotted four suspects.

As he went to interview them, he was struck over the head with a bottle and suffered a serious wound, which needed seven stitches at Waterford Regional Hospital.

The youths then fled in different directions as Supt Leacy, who is based in Dungarvan, sought help from his colleagues.


During a search, Mr Ducey's body was found in a stream at the bottom of the railings.

With help from a Coast Guard helicopter, a second suspect was spotted in undergrowth in the White Strand area and was detained for questioning.

Two other suspects were also arrested nearby and they were taken to Dungarvan station for questioning.

All three are aged between 16 and 19 years.

Gardai said last night they did not think Supt Leacy's house had been specifically targeted in the bottle-throwing incident but believed it was a "random act of malicious damage".

As a member of the garda force had been involved in the early stages of the incident, the circumstances surrounding the death of Mr Ducey were referred by Interim Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan to the Garda Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) for investigation.

A GSOC team was later sent to Dungarvan to carry out inquiries.

A post-mortem examination on Mr Ducey's body was under way last night at Waterford regional hospital to determine the cause of death.

GSOC said it was seeking witnesses who were in the White Strand, Seapark, Clonea Road and Sallybrook areas of Abbeyside, Dungarvan, in the early hours of yesterday.

Earlier this week, gardai were called to the Abbeyside area after residents raised the alarm when a burglar, armed with a hatchet, was spotted breaking into a house.

Gardai later arrested a local man for questioning about the incident.

Meanwhile, Taoiseach Enda Kenny deplored the attack on Supt Leacy's home but rejected suggestions it signalled an upsurge in violence against members of the force.

"I think we have had a number of tragic incidents against the gardai over the years, either by the IRA or by other criminal activities where gardai have been caught in situations like this," he said.

He said he did not want to comment in detail on the incident because an independent investigation was under way.

Irish Independent

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