Pensioner victim of Clare hit-and-run passes away

Pensioner victim of Clare hit-and-run passes away

A pensioner injured in a dramatic hit-and-run accident in Co Clare has passed away.

Retired postman Dermot O'Brien, from Richmond Park, Corbally, Limerick, died earlier this week.

He is survived by his wife Tess, son John, and two daughters Sinéad and Gráinne, is to be buried on Saturday after 11am mass in St Mary's Church, Limerick.

O'Brien had been chatting with friends Eric Ryan, 79, and Willie Barry, 77, when they were struck by a car, driven by a thief who was being pursued by gardaí.

The three injured friends had just played a round of pitch & putt at the Parteen course. They were innocently standing outside the entrance chatting when they were injured.

All three men had travelled in Mr Barry’s car to Parteen, a routine they did twice a week.

One of the three injured men, Mr Ryan, a former Limerick hurler, had a leg almost severed in the impact and later needed to have it amputated to save his life.

Mr Barry, a retired garda, was also badly injured.

The horror collision occurred on September 25, 2014, when Michael Sheehan, of Cliona Park, Moyross, Limerick, lost control of the car he was driving as it took a bend in the village of Parteen, Co Clare.

Sheehan had committed two earlier burglaries at Aherina, Kilmore, Co Clare, and Doonas, Co Clare - he has pleaded guilty to those offences - and was being pursued by gardaí when he lost control of his Hyundai Accent.

Last April, at Limerick Circuit Court, he pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing serious bodily harm to Mr Ryan and Mr Barry.

Sheehan (aged 26) allegedly fled the scene after the collision but was apprehended by gardaí later on the night.

The defendant, who has been in custody since his arrest, is also charged with a number of road traffic offences, including drink driving, dangerous driving at six different locations, failing to give appropriate information to gardaí, failing to remain at the scene of an accident, failing to report an accident and failing to provide a blood or urine sample to gardaí.

The court heard these matters are likely to be added to the indictment sheet before Sheehan's sentencing hearing in June.

The Garda Ombudsman Commission is conducting an investigation into the Garda pursuit of Mr Sheehan's car, leading up the accident.


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