Man from Keady arrested as takeaway driver killed and Garda dragged along road in crash

Crash victim Stephen Marron was a married father-of-two and assistant church sacristan

A TAKEAWAY driver killed when a car fleeing Garda officers in Co Monaghan crashed into his vehicle was an assistant church sacristan and a "loving and devoted husband and father".

Stephen Marron (47), who was sitting in a parked Skoda Octavia on Main Street in Castleblaney, died in the incident late on Tuesday night that also saw a Garda officer dragged 500 metres by a speeding Audi.

Garda Michael Devlin (31) sustained head, face and leg injuries.

A 34-year-old man, named locally as James Tomany from Keady in Co Armagh, was arrested at the scene. A 34-year-old man is due to appear before Carrickmacross District Court this evening.

It is believed that Mr Tomany, who was wanted by gardaí for driving offences, went into the town's Garda station but was recognised and ran out as a garda tried to stop him.

It is not clear what happened next but the garda was dragged along the street for around 500 metres.

The Audi then lost control and crashed into Mr Marron's Skoda Octavia parked outside Lin's takeaway on Main Street. Mr Marron was in the parked car, waiting to pick up a customer delivery, when he was killed.

The married father-of-two young children was from Castleblaney.

Mr Devlin, who is stationed in Monaghan Garda station, suffered facial, head and leg injuries. He was treated at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda but was later discharged.

Fianna Fáil councillor Padraig McNally extended his condolences to Mr Marron's family.

"It's a terrible tragedy for his family," he said.

"My sympathies go out to them."

Mr Marron was an assistant sacristan at St Mary’s Church in Castleblaney and St Patrick’s Church in Oram.

He also served on the parish's safeguarding committee.

A spokesman for the Diocese of Clogher said: "Above all, Stephen was a loving and devoted husband and father, a son, brother, and a good friend to many".

Canon Shane McCaughey, parish priest of Muckno, said Mr Marron was the "go-to" man for everyone in the parish.

"Stephen bore witness to his faith through the generosity and kindness that he showed to all who were in any kind of need," he added.

"All of us in the parish pray that Stephen may now be in the eternal peace of Jesus Christ, the Risen Lord. We pray too for his wife, their children, his parents and sisters and his many friends; that the Lord may accompany them at this time."

Funeral details will be finalised later.

The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) is to investigate the fatal crash.

"A male was fatally injured by a vehicle driven by a member of the public following an interaction with a Garda member in the Garda station," he said.

He said the case was referred to the commission under a law which "provides for independent investigation of any matter that appears to indicate that the conduct of a member of the Garda Síochána may have resulted in the death of, or serious harm to, a person".

"GSOC deployed a team of investigators to the scene and an examination of the incident continues," he said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact gardaí.

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