The Killeigh area was still in shock this week at the news of the tragic death in the early hours of Saturday morning of 29 year old father of two James Dillon from Gurteen, Killeigh.
The enthusiastic sportsman died in the Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore after he was found with serious injuries at the side of the road in Killeigh, the victim of a hit and run.
A man in his 50s was detained in relation to the incident and was later released without charge. A file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Mr Dillon had taken a taxi home having attended the CCFL Annual Awards in the Bridge House Hotel on Friday evening. It is believed that after being dropped by the taxi he was struck by a car coming in the opposite direction. A local woman saw him lying injured on the road and waited with him until the emergency services arrived. He was brought immediately to the Midland Regional Hospital in Tullamore but later died.
Nicknamed “Digger” because he drove a digger on construction sites Mr Dillon was married to Claudia and was father to two young girls - Meabh who is two and a half years old and three month old Caragh.
His uncle Paddy Dillon told the media at the weekend that the the family was devastated by what had happened. “James was very athletic. He was in the local soccer team, he loved sports, loved life.”
Local Sinn Fein councillor Brendan Killeavy who was at school with Mr Dillon in the CBS, Tullamore said, “he was a very popular fella. Everyone liked him, nobody had a bad word to say about him. This is devastating for his family and the community. His youngest child is only a few months old.
“He was a member of Killeigh Ramblers and loved sports. He had been to the soccer awards earlier on Friday evening. He was very well known in the area and very well liked. The whole community is in shock,” added Cllr Killeavy.
Gardai are appealing for witnesses to the collision or to any one who can assist them with their investigation to contact Tullamorre Garda Station on 057-9327600, The Garda Confidential Telephone Line 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.