Family of man killed in alleged hit and run 30 years ago brings damages action against State

Kevin Winters

The family of a man killed in an alleged hit and run more than three decades ago has brought damages action against the State.

James Clancy, 80, died after he was hit by a truck on Patrick Street, Tullamore on December 1, 1987, the Longford Leader reports.

Nobody was charged in the incident and his family have now brought a case to the High Court.

His son, Joseph Clancy, has brought proceedings against the Garda Commissioner as well as the Justice Minister and the Attorney General.

Last December, Retired District Court judge Mary Collins published a report into the circumstances of the death.

She found that an investigation into the incident by a Garda chief superintendent over hearsay allegations that Garda members were involved in the death was reasonable and adequate and that the rationale for not proceeding with it was “persuasive”.

She criticised, however, “an unacceptable lack of communication” with the Clancy family.

“The family have been left, for the past 30 years, with unanswered questions about the circumstances of their father’s death. They have had to endure years of allegations and speculation which is, and has been, upsetting and distressing for them,” she said in her report.

Joseph Clancy, represented by solicitor Kevin Winters, seeks a declaration from the High Court that the defendants were in breach of James Clancy’s constitutional and European Convention rights.

In addition, he seeks damages.