The heartbroken brother of a teenager who was killed in a hit and run incident twenty five years ago this week has issued an emotional appeal for anyone with details of the incident to come forward and reveal what they know.
Páraic Coffey, from Rathcairn,a second cousin of RTE star,Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh was only eighteen when he was struck by a car as he walked home from a disco in the town on June 9th 1996, and as yet nobody has been convicted in connection with what happened
Now his elder brother Sean, who has been based in New York since 1994 is hoping the code of silence that surrounded Páraic’s death can be breached
He told Meath Live, ‘ ‘ Someone out there knows who killed my brother, somebody knows precisely what happened, certainly the driver of the car involved knows and I cannot understand how people can live with that on their conscience
‘Okay initially people might have been able to cope with the guilt but a quarter of a century is a massive length of time to have to deal with that
‘Look my parents are getting on in years they deserve to know the whole story about what happened before they pass on, it would just be heart
Sean has revealed that the family were not entirely satisfied with how Gardai conducted the investigation into Páraic’s death at the time
‘We’d have concerns, that’s as strong as I can put it to you, I mean the former assistant state pathologist, Dr Margaret Bolster found a chip of black plastic in one of Paraic’s wounds and it was established that it came from the bumper or wing mirrorof a car
‘Leads were followed on a Navy colored Peugeot 204 car known to have a black bumper that was found to have been repaired within days of the hit and run, yet that car has never been definitively connected to the crime.
‘Perhaps with modern technology a positive connection can now be made with that car.
‘Eight or nine years ago the cops revisited the case and brought a person in for questioning but he was released without charge,
‘A local woman cycling to 8am mass the following morning noticed that by that stage the road had been washed down and reopened, actually we are aware that within two or three hours of the thing happening the road where it occurred was washed down.
Why was there no Garda cordon in place, there was a death after all so how come the scene of the crime was not properly preserved.’
Devastated Sean clearly recalls how he heard the horrific news.
‘There was a bit of a coincidence involved in so far as Páraic died at 3am Irish time and I was on a night out with my brother and sister here in New York so when we got home I got a message on the answer machine at 3am US time
‘Look I can understand why people who may know something covered their tracks at the time, they could have been drink driving or been with someone they were not supposed to be with, but come on it is twenty five years ago, so you have nothing to fear by coming clean now
‘The key to cracking this lies locally, the road on which it happened isn’t one a stranger would be using, it kind of leads you nowhere really, so please if you know anything step up to the plate and find it in your heart to get our family justice.