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Thousands raised to bring body of husband-to-be back home

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Gardaí have made appeal

Gardaí have made appeal

Gardaí have made appeal

Big-hearted work colleagues of a Moldovan man who was found dead at a Meath roadside over the weekend have set up a GoFundMe page to help his family with the cost of repatriating his remains.

Devastated staff at Romayos Takeaway in Slane, where Nicolae Cernega was working, launched the fundraiser 'Bringing Niko Home' on Sunday.

Last night it had raised more than €5,000, €3,000 more than its original target.

Tragically, the 29-year-old was due to go home to Moldova in the coming weeks for his own wedding.

Gardaí are investigating his death after his body was found on the roadside near his electric scooter at Harmanstown on the N51 Navan to Slane Road at 2.50am on Saturday.

Gardaí say following a post-mortem examination, they are not looking for any other person or any vehicle in relation to the incident. However, they are continuing to appeal for any witnesses.

Niko had been working at the popular take-away in Slane on Friday night and was travelling home after his shift.

Heartbroken

The groom-to-be, whose fiancée remained in Moldova, had only moved to Ireland within the last three months.

His colleague Mia Lynch said on the GoFundMe page: "At only 29, Niko was tragically taken from us in the early hours of Saturday morning.

"After being found on the roadside, we have been left heartbroken and are still waiting for answers."

Local Aontú representative Peter Whelan, who helped set up the page, said: "Mia, along with the Slane community were devastated by Niko's death.

"He made a huge impression on people, despite the fact he only lived here a short time.

"I have a special affinity with the Moldovan community as a lot of staff at Romayos are from there.

"It is so sad that this young man came to our country full of the joys of life and is going home in a coffin.

"I feel if it was one of our own who died this way in Moldova, we would feel so helpless."

Donate at bring-niko-home on GoFundMe.com