Single gunshot wound to upper arm killed man at farm in Macroom

Man still being held for questioning over death of Derry Coakley (59)

Derry Coakley who was shot   on Tuesday night. Photograph: Provision

Derry Coakley who was shot on Tuesday night. Photograph: Provision


Gardaí are continuing to question a 66-year-old man about the fatal shooting of a father of one in Macroom, Co Cork, after a post mortem examination confirmed the man died from a single gunshot wound to the upper arm.

Assistant State Pathologist, Dr Margaret Bolster concluded her post mortem on the body of Derry Coakley (59) on Thursday afternoon and although gardaí have not released her findings for operational reasons, it is understood Mr Coakley died from shock and haemorrhage from a single gunshot.

The postmortem also confirmed Mr Coakley was shot at relatively close range and suffered significant damage to an area between his elbow and shoulder which led to heavy bleeding and ultimately his death at Raleigh outside Macroom at around 11.30pm on Tuesday night.

Gardaí believe Mr Coakley, a contractor, was shot after he arrived at a house at around 11pm on Tuesday night on his tractor and trailer to dispose of a load of building waste. He had an agreement with the landowner to dispose of material on the property.

But it is understood the landowner took exception to both the type of material that Mr Coakley was seeking to dispose of on his property and the fact that he was arriving so late to dispose of it and a row erupted. A shot was discharged which hit Mr Coakley in the upper arm.

Mr Coakley managed to climb back into the cab of his tractor despite bleeding profusely and drove over 200 metres back to the roadway where he rang a friend living nearby who came to his assistance and managed to get him out of the tractor cab.

The friend rang the emergency services and two gardaí, who were first on the scene, tried to apply a tourniquet to Mr Coakley’s wound but he lost consciousness and paramedics who arrived soon after were unable to resuscitate him. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Trail of blood

Mr Coakley left a trail of blood when fleeing which gardaí later used to trace their way back to where the shooting occurred and where members of the Garda Technical Bureau later recovered a single shotgun cartridge.

The team of garda technical experts continued on Thursday with their examination of both the spot in the private property where Mr Coakley was shot and the place on the public roadway some 200 metres or so away where he died after suffering significant blood loss.

Gardaí also began examining the property owner’s house on Thursday afternoon and removed a legally held shotgun which they believed was used in the shooting. It has been sent for forensic analysis by ballistics experts.

Detectives arrested a 66-year-old local man just before 11am on Wednesday for questioning and he was taken to Bandon Garda Station where he was detained under Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act which allows detention for up to seven days.

Gardaí are liaising closely with the DPP’s office in relation to whether the man should be charged or released and a file prepared for the DPP.

Mr Coakley was well known in the Macroom area where he carried out contract work for Cork County Council.

A native of Macroom, he lived at Castle Street in the town with his elderly mother Joan with whom he also operated a hackney business and he is survived by his mother, his daughter Deirdre (20), his sister Siobhan and Deirdre’s mother, Siobhan from whom he was separated.