‘Another minute he would have been at the house’: Family appeal over hit-and-run 10 years on

Keith Byrne (35) was returning from his local pub in a rural part of Co Louth when he was killed on Sunday, May 11th, 2014

The family of a man struck by a vehicle and killed just a minute’s walk from his Co Louth home have appealed for information that might solve the decade-old hit-and-run.

Keith Byrne (35) was returning from his local pub along the L1140 road linking Carnalogue and Louth Village in the early hours of Sunday, May 11th, 2014.

His remains were discovered by a passing taxi driver and he was later pronounced dead.

“He’d come home [from work], he was in great form. And then he had said that he was going to go to a wake in the area and then he was going to go for a few drinks,” his sister Niamh told RTÉ’s Crimecall programme on Monday night.

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Mr Byrne later texted his brother David for a lift home but was not ready in time to take the lift and so decided he would make his own way back along the rural road.

“I was lying in the bed trying to get back to sleep. And then I could just hear my mother starting to cry so I jumped out of the bed,” David said.

He walked around the nearby corner and immediately recognised the boots his brother was wearing.

“You know you’re always asking yourself, if I had of waited another five minutes would he have got into the car? Maybe I should have waited. You’re always saying that to yourself, ten years on.”

Mr Byrne was killed about 300 yards from his home, where a memorial has since been erected in his memory.

“I think that’s the hardest part about it,” David said. “Another minute [and] he would have been at the house.”

Niamh said that information that could answer the questions about what happened on the night would give them peace of mind after ten years.

“We were just so shell-shocked – how your life and your family can change in one second is just frightening,” she said.

Gardaí, and the Byrne family, who believe somebody has information on his death, have directed their appeal to the driver to come forward or for anyone who the driver may have confided in over the last ten years to make contact.

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard is a reporter with The Irish Times