Was BallyK assault victim hit by car?
TRAGIC Brian Doyle may have been hit by a car after being knocked to the ground outside a pub in Avoca.
Gardai were today investigating claims that the 48-year-old was not only assaulted outside the famous Fitzgerald's pub, but may have been subsequently struck by a passing car.
The real-life tragedy on the set of hit TV show Ballykissangel saw Avoca in mourning yesterday as detectives sealed off the village.
Sources have confirmed that Mr Doyle was involved in a dispute with another punter about a soccer match between Liverpool and Everton.
Investigators believe that the bachelor was punched in the head after he went outside Fitzgerald's for a smoke shortly before 9pm on Sunday.
However, forensic collision investigators also combed the postcard village for clues as to whether he was knocked down by a car following the assault.
A handprint and a dent were visible in the bonnet of a van not far from the scene.
Mr Doyle's best friend John Kinsella said today that he doesn't know how his pal, nicknamed Brier, had died.
"I am devastated. He was having a drink with his friends, everybody was Brier's friend," said Mr Kinsella. "I don't know how he died. I had been in Fitzgerald's but left it a half an hour before that. There wasn't a bother on him when I left."
Mr Kinsella said that Mr Doyle wasn't a fighting man. He described him as a "proper gentleman" who was "very timid".
Mr Doyle, who was unemployed, was in "great form" when he joined his friends in Fitzgerald's for a few pints of Bavaria.
But Mr Kinsella confirmed that speculation was rife in Avoca that Brian had been run over.
"I couldn't see anybody in the pub hitting him. He wasn't that sort of chap," he said.
A post mortem was carried out last night by deputy State pathologist Khalid Jabbar and the result should help clarify the exact cause of death.
Garda Supt Pat Ward said yesterday that the emergency services had tried to resuscitate Mr Doyle at the scene but he was pronounced dead at around 9.45pm.
Detectives are following a definite line of inquiry and have spoken to a number of people who were in the pub on Sunday evening.
However, they believe that there are still more drinkers who they have not been in contact with.
Supt Ward said they were anxious to speak with anyone who was in the pub from about 3pm until closing time.