Gardaí investigate after tree is felled at site of fatal road incident

Road is thought to have been closed to traffic during ‘criminal damage’ incident in Limerick

Gardaí are investigating a ‘criminal damage’ incident in which a tree was cut down  in Limerick city. File photograph: Frank Miller

Gardaí are investigating a ‘criminal damage’ incident in which a tree was cut down in Limerick city. File photograph: Frank Miller

 

Gardaí are investigating a “criminal damage” incident in which a tree was cut down at the scene of a double fatal road traffic collision in Limerick city.

The tree, which was situated on Hyde Road, was felled last Wednesday night.

It is understood those behind the felling closed the road to traffic while the tree was being cut down.

The tree, along with a section of Hyde Road, had been cordoned off on Friday, June 26th, as part of a Garda investigation into a collision on Hyde Road in which 17-year-old motorist Patrick “Pio” O’Reilly and cyclist Saad Al Werfally, aged in his 30s, both died.

The car Mr O’Reilly was driving at the time left the road and hit the tree during the incident.

The investigation into the collision is continuing and gardaí have appealed for witnesses and anyone with relevant dashcam footage to come forward.

A few discarded remnants of a shrine left at the tree, which included flowers, rosary beads, candles, and a large photograph of Mr O’Reilly, are all that remains at the spot.

A Garda spokesman said: “Gardaí­are investigating a criminal damage incident in which a tree was cut down on Hyde Road at around 11.30pm on July 1st, 2020.

“The road was closed for a short time and reopened.”

Gardaí said that “no arrests have been made” and that “the investigation is ongoing”.

A spokesman for Limerick City and County Council said: “Limerick City and County Council was unaware that this tree was being removed.”