Wednesday 12 December 2018

'Hostile' gang attack gardaí at scene of collision in which father died after celebrating son's christening

Road traffic accident victim Emmett McClelland
Road traffic accident victim Emmett McClelland

Sasha Brady, Robin Schiller and Pat Flynn

A GROUP of up to 30 people interfered with emergency services and tried to assault gardaí at the scene of collision in which a father was killed on the way home from his son's christening.

Emmett McClelland was killed in Co Donegal on Saturday night as he was walking home after celebrating the christening of his baby son.

He died after being struck by a car while walking at Bridgend between the Donegal and Derry border.

Superintendent Eugene McGovern, of Buncrana Garda Station, said that gardaí on patrol attended the scene within 10 seconds of the alarm being raised.

But he said the situation became hostile very quickly when a crowd of between 20 and 30 people arrived on scene.

"They tried to interfere with emergency services. It's totally unacceptable," he said.

"We don't understand why they were so hostile. They attempted to assault the gardaí on the scene."

He said gardaí received minor injuries in the incident.

Supt McGovern said that not all members of the group were behaving in a hostile manner.

He stressed that gardaí usually receive the utmost cooperation and assistance from the public when dealing with emergencies.

It is understood Mr McClelland, who was in his 20s, had been socialising earlier in the 19th Hole Bar, on the Donegal side of the border.

He left the bar with another man and both were struck by a car which was passing around 11.55pm.

Both men were rushed to hospital but Mr McClelland was pronounced dead a short time later.

The other man is not understood to have suffered serious injuries.

One man in his 30s, believed to be the driver of the Opel Omega car involved in the crash, was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving and brought to Buncrana Garda station for questioning.

Gardai are trying to track down another male who they believe was a passenger in the vehicle. A source said it is believed the person fled the vehicle on foot after the crash and gardaí are anxious to speak to him.

Gardaí in Buncrana Garda Station, appealed to anybody who was in the area at the time of the tragedy to come forward.

"We would appeal to anybody who was in the area at the time to contact gardaí," a spokesman said.

"They may have noticed this car or the person involved or they may have noticed something which would be of value to our investigation."

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