Tragic | 

Police believe driver who killed Irish man Declan Curley in New Zealand was drunk

Local media reported that Roscommon man Mr Curley was pronounced dead at the scene

Declan Curley

Neasa Cumiskey

A driver has been charged in relation to the death of Roscommon man Declan Curley in New Zealand earlier this year.

The 37-year-old, from Clonark near Athlone but living in Wellington in New Zealand at the time, was killed when he was struck by a vehicle while out walking at approximately 3.30am on Saturday, February 12.

Local media reported that Mr Curley was pronounced dead at the scene.

A Wainuiomata man, who was granted name suppression, appeared in Wellington District Court on Monday morning in relation to Mr Curley’s tragic death.

The court heard that the 21-year-old was over the legal alcohol limit with a breath alcohol reading of 516mcg. The legal limit is 250mcg.

He was also found to have been driving dangerously when he allegedly struck Mr Curley.

He was granted bail after pleading not guilty to the two charges.

Tributes poured in for father-of-one Declan at the time of his death, with the Clann na Gael GAA club in Athlone leading the testimonies.

"It is with deep regret and sadness that the club has learned of the untimely and tragic passing of Declan Curley.

"Declan played underage football with Clann na nGael and followed the progress of Clann and his beloved Roscommon with great interest.

"We express our deepest sympathies to Declan’s parents Tommy & Rena, his partner Samantha, the extended Curley and Ganly families and also Declan’s many friends and neighbours on their terrible loss."

A friend wrote online: “Tommy and Rena, our heartfelt sympathies go out to you both on Declan's tragic and untimely death.

“You should be so proud of the man he had become. He will leave a void in the lives of all those who knew him. Our deepest condolences to his partner Sam and her daughter Mia and all Declan's relatives and many friends. May he rest in peace.”

And a former colleague said: “Deepest condolences to Declan’s parents, partner, extended family and friends on your very sad and tragic loss. Had the pleasure of working with Declan in both Penneys and the Dept of Education. He was a lovely lad and a great character. Rest in peace Declan."

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