Gardai to send file to DPP after man dies in alleged hit-and-run


Gardaí are to send a file to the Director of Public Prosecutions after interviewing a man yesterday in connection with an alleged hit-and-run incident on the outskirts of Cork city on Thursday.

This led to the death of a 65-year-old pedestrian, Finbarr Walsh.

A 36-year-old man presented himself at Gurranabraher Garda station at around noon yesterday. He assisted gardaí for several hours with their inquiries into the death of Mr Walsh, from Lower Connolly Road, Ballyphehane, in Cork city.

The man, who is understood to be from the north side of the city,also made his car available to gardaí for technical and mechanical experts to examine.

Mr Walsh, a married man with a grown-up family, was fatally injured when he was struck by a car while walking near the Grotto on the Lee Road on the north-western outskirts of Cork city at around 5.30pm on Thursday.

His body was removed to Cork University Hospital late on Thursday night.

Deputy State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster yesterday carried out a postmortem.

Gardaí had closed off the Lee Road overnight, and technical experts carried out a forensic examination of the scene early yesterday morning.

A specialist officer from the accident investigation unit attached to Dublin Castle also travelled to Cork early yesterday and carried out a detailed examination of the scene before the Lee Road was reopened to traffic at around lunchtime.

Meanwhile, gardaí have named a 32-year-old man who was killed in a separate single-vehicle crash on the Rochestown Road in Cork late on Thursday night as Lee McNamara, from Passage West, Co Cork.

Mr McNamara was driving from Passage West towards Cork city when his car went out of control and crashed into a wall on the Rochestown Road at around 10.55pm.

He was taken by ambulance to Cork University Hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival.

There were also reports of two more crashes yesterday afternoon. The first occurred at around 1.45pm at Clonad, Portlaoise, on the Abbeyleix side of the Togher roundabout. It involved a car and a jeep.

The driver of one of the vehicles was taken to Portlaoise General Hospital but his injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

AA Roadwatch also reported delays at Moate yesterday evening following a second crash, which happened between Moate and Athlone at around 3.10pm.

Nicola Hudson of AA Roadwatch said that after the quiet days around Christmas, people were taking to the roads yesterday afternoon in advance of the New Year period.

She advised motorists to allow plenty of extra time for their planned journeys, and to expect to come across longer delays than usual.

Motorists should also always keep a safe distance from the car in front, she said.

Meanwhile, Pat Clarke of Met Éireann said it expected the first few days of 2006 to be "unsettled and changeable".

Today will be cold and very windy, with widespread showers. Highest temperatures will be between 6 and 9 degrees, "but it will feel a lot colder" due to the windy conditions, he said. Some frost is also expected on Monday night.

However, yesterday morning had seen a "dramatic change" in temperatures and was significantly milder than Thursday morning, he said.