Reward for information on hit-and-run death

Crimestoppers is prepared to offer a substantial reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who killed a cyclist in a hit-and-run on the Cork-Kerry border.

There are concerns the offending vehicle may have been dismantled or buried.

The organisation is hoping the reward will entice somebody to aid the Garda investigation into the death of married father-of-four Paud O’Leary, 42.

Mr O’Leary was training for a charity cycle when he was struck by a vehicle near the village of Gneeveguilla, Co Kerry on Jul 1.

Inspector Tony Sugrue said gardaí believe that the driver of a charcoal grey Toyota Land Cruiser was responsible for his death.

To date, despite extensive searches, neither the driver nor the vehicle have been located.

The 4x4 could have been taken out of the country but gardaí are also working on the possibility that “it may have been hidden, dismantled or even buried”.

The investigation has been given nearly the same resources as a murder inquiry and gardaí remain determined to catch the culprit.

“We are satisfied the jeep had significant damage to its front right side and that it proceeded on into the Duhallow area. We have had a large response from the public. But we feel there are witnesses out there who haven’t come forward and that there might be people who haven’t told us the full story,” Insp Sugrue said.

Mr O’Leary was found by his brother-in-law at 1.15pm that day, less than 500m on the Gneeveguilla side of Paddy O’Keeffe’s shop. But gardaí believe the hit-and-run happened between 5am and 8am.

Mr O’Leary has a daughter with Down syndrome and was preparing for a cycle to raise funds for a charity which represents people with the condition.

It has been speculated that the driver of the Land Cruiser has left the country.

“We are anxious to speak to anyone who may have witnessed the incident on Jul 1 or who may know a person who drives a charcoal grey Toyota Land Cruiser, or may have noticed any such jeep with damage to its right hand side,” Insp Sugrue said.

“Information which may seem insignificant could prove crucial in helping Gardaí identify the person responsible for this tragic incident which led to the death of Mr O’Leary.”

A spokesman for Crimestoppers said that any information it received would be treated in the strictest confidence.

* Crimestoppers can be contacted on 1800 250025. People can contact Kanturk Garda Station at 029 20680.

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