herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

Mystery over cause of fatal road collision as gardai search two sites

Members of the garda divisional unit search on the Johnstown road after a man, aged in his 40s, was discovered with fatal injuries on the Coolgreany Road in Arklow, Co Wicklow shortly before 2.30am on Monday. Photo: Damien Eagers
Members of the garda divisional unit search on the Johnstown road after a man, aged in his 40s, was discovered with fatal injuries on the Coolgreany Road in Arklow, Co Wicklow shortly before 2.30am on Monday. Photo: Damien Eagers

Mystery surrounds the circumstances of a horrific traffic incident which claimed the life of a 49-year-old man.

The victim has been named locally as Declan Kelly (49), who was struck by a car in the early hours of Monday morning close to his home in Arklow, Co Wicklow.

Gardai have identified a suspect in the case and have taken statements from the middle-aged local man who presented himself to officers around 40 minutes after the collision.

His Ford Mondeo car has been seized and has been the subject of detailed forensic examination.

There has been no arrests so far but officers are trawling through CCTV and phone records and have not yet ruled out the involvement of a second vehicle in the fatality.

Struck

A post-mortem examination carried out on Mr Kelly's body proved inconclusive and further examinations are due to take place today.

Gardai have been working on a number of different theories in relation to the fatal collision including whether Mr Kelly's body had been moved from where he was originally struck by a car.

Mr Kelly's body was discovered by passers-by on the Coolgreany Road in Arklow, shortly before 2.30am on Monday.

At around the same time, a local man presented himself to gardai in relation to the incident.

Yesterday morning, gardai began examining a second location, around 2km from where the victim's body was discovered.

Five members of the garda divisional search unit combed the trees and bushes at a cordoned off scene on the outskirts of Arklow Town in a search for missing clothing items belonging to Mr Kelly.

The search concluded shortly after 5pm with "significant" items found by the investigation team.

Mr Kelly's family is said to be "terribly cut up" following his passing.

Fianna Fail councillor Tommy Annesley told the Herald he had grown up with many members of the family.

"I knew the whole family, I was out at the house, they're all devastated," he said.

Mr Kelly lived just outside Arklow Town with his father, Peter, who he had been taking care of since the passing of his mother two years ago.

His brother had also tragically passed away a number of years ago. Mr Kelly was described as the glue that kept the family together.

"Declan looked after the father, he cooked the breakfast and that," Mr Annesley said.

The tragic victim set up his own business as a concrete grover - which prevents livestock from slipping on concrete surfaces - and was known throughout the farming community in Wicklow.

Local councillor, Pat Fitzgerald said the whole area is in a state of shock.

"It's a huge shock to learn of the tragedy," Mr Fitzgerald said. "Declan was a member of a very well-liked family and very well-known in farming circles."

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