herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

CCTV crucial as gardai hunt for hit-and-run killer

GARDAI are studying CCTV cameras in their hunt for a hit-and-run killer who left a man to die on a country road.

Detectives are checking footage from cameras in Bundoran, Co Donegal, as heartbroken friends paid tribute to 48-year-old Alan McSherry.

The Englishman died three miles from the town in the early hours of Sunday.

His body was found by his wife Jo who had driven out to find him when he hadn't returned home from a night out at the Bridge Bar in the town.

Officers believe the driver of the car which hit Mr McSherry and then left him at the side of the road may have driven through the seaside town just minutes earlier.

 

Callous

Parts of the car which struck Mr McSherry have been recovered, although a vehicle found in a laneway nearby yesterday has been ruled out of the investigation.

"He was left to die there," said friend Declan Madden, whose family run the Bridge Bar. "It is so callous it is beyond words. You wouldn't do that to a dog, never mind a fellow human being."

He said people in the Co Donegal town were still in a state of shock over the death.

"The person responsible could have saved his life – we will never know the answer to that question," said Mr Madden.

Mr McSherry moved to a house on the Leitrim-Donegal border 17 years ago after falling in love with Bundoran during a cycling trip to Ireland.

"He loved the outdoors life," said Declan.

"I'd have gone out hiking with him and he thought this was the best place on earth.

"He may have been from Birkenhead in England but he settled into life here so well. He said the Irish and Merseysiders were so alike.

"Alan was just brilliant with his hands. He was the person anyone in Bundoran called if they wanted something fixed.

"It's like losing a member of the family."

Yesterday as the Bridge Bar filled with tourists – many from the North enjoying the UK bank holiday – Declan pointed at a stool and said: "He'd be in now for a coffee ... ."

Widow Jo McSherry would often go out cycling with her husband. The couple had travelled to Porto in Portugal in spring for a five-day cycling trip.

She attempted to revive her husband when she found his body on the narrow Newtown Road around 5am on Sunday.

"I need to find answers so I can tell Mrs McSherry what happened to her husband," said Garda Traffic Corps inspector Michael Harrison.

"I don't know how anyone could live with themselves having left a man on the road like that.

"I would appeal to the person who did this to come forward and talk to us. It's not too late but I have to try to give Mrs McSherry some closure on this tragic death."

 

Analysis

Insp Harrison said pieces of the car which struck Mr McSherry have been sent to Dublin for forensic analysis.

"We have had a very good response from the public because Mr McSherry was well-known and well-liked in the area," he told The Herald.

Members of Mr McSherry's family arrived at the home in the townland of Boyannagh, from Merseyside, yesterday.

It's understood his remains will be returned to England later this week for burial.

It's the second hit-and-run death in Co Donegal in 11 months.

Last September former soldier Eunan McDevitt was knocked down and killed near Ballyshannon.

The driver of the car which killed the 47-year-old father-of-two has never been traced.

hnews@herald.ie

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