GARDAI are searching for the driver of a BMW involved in a fatal hit-and-run incident.
Officers in Loughrea, Co Galway, are appealing for witnesses to the incident which claimed the life of a local man, John White, who is in his late sixties,
Mr White was critically injured when his bicycle was struck by a car in the town at 8.30pm last night.
The car, a blue BMW with a partial registration of 01 G failed to stop at the scene.
Mr White was rushed to University Hospital Galway where he passed away shortly before 2am. A postmortem will be carried out later today.
The hit-and-run occurred close to pedestrian lights on the Gort Road. The driver drove off in the direction of Gort.
Gardai have now launched a wide-scale hunt for the vehicle which has a blown right rear brake light and is likely to be damaged at the front.
Locals told of their shock at the tragic death of Mr White, who was a very popular member of the community.
Mr White lived alone in the town and spent much of his time entertaining residents at the local nursing home and assisting the Loughrea Comhaltas music group.
Local Fine Gael councillor Michael Mogie Maher had been speaking with Mr White just shortly before the accident.
"He was in great form and full of banter about the elections. It's a terrible shock for the entire community.
"Everyone would have known John, he was constantly on his bike going to the shops or mass or just cycling around the town, he was almost attached to it," he said.
Mr White had been a long-time member of the Loughrea Comhaltas group and had a deep love of traditional music.
"He just loved Irish music and he loved to share it with younger people in the area. He would do anything he could for the group, setting up the music and even singing the odd song. He was the backbone of the group really," added Mr Maher.
Mr Maher also urged the driver of the car to hand themselves in to gardai.
Mr White had no immediate family living locally. Gardai are now informing his next of kin of his tragic death.
The scene of the accident remained closed off this morning while a garda forensic collision examination was carried out.