‘I should have stopped, but I didn’t’ – Bundoran hit and run driver appears in court

September 26, 2023

A man has appeared in court charged over a hit-and-run collision in which a nine-year-old boy was killed in Bundoran.

Sergee Kelly appeared at Carrick-On-Shannon District Court on Tuesday morning in connection with the fatal road traffic collision on Saturday. Ronan Wilson, a nine-year-old from Kildress in County Tyrone, was killed.

Kelly, a 23-year-old with an address at Upper Mullaghmore, County Sligo, has been charged with three offences under the Road Traffic Act.

Wearing a face mask, Kelly was brought to Carrick-On-Shannon by detectives.

Kelly was charged with the offence of being the driver of a vehicle which was involved in the occurrence of injury to Ronan Wilson and failing to offer said person assistance.

He was also charged with failing to stop and with failing to remain at the scene.

Detective Garda Shane Maye of Ballyshannon Garda station gave evidence of the arrest, charge and caution of Kelly.

When charged, Kelly told Gardai: “It was wrong and I should have stopped, but I didn’t.”

After being charged with failing to stop, Kelly said: “I should have, but I didn’t.” He later told Gardai, when charged with failing to remain at the scene: “I know I should have, but I didn’t.”

Kelly was represented by solicitor Mr John Anderson.

Gardai agreed to bail on strict conditions. Kelly was granted bail on his own bond of €2,000 while Ms Martina Currid agreed to go forward as an independent surety, which was approved by the court.

Kelly has surrendered his passport and must sign on three times a week at Ballyshannon Garda Station. He was ordered to have no contact, either directly or indirectly, to include social media, with any of the prosecution witnesses in the case.

Kelly’s mobile phone has been seized by Gardai, but he must provide officers with a contact number within 24 hours.

Judge Éiteáin Cunningham remanded Kelly on bail to appear before Ballyshannon District Court on October 20, 2023.

Gardai launched a manhunt after Kelly fled from the scene on Saturday and the accused man was arrested on Sunday for an offence under the Road Traffic Act.

Having been detained at Ballyshannon Garda Station under the Criminal Justice Act 1984, detectives charged Kelly on Monday.

Nine-year-old Ronan, who was visiting the south Donegal seaside town with his family, was pronounced dead at the scene a short time after the collision, which occurred at around 9.20pm on Atlantic Way, Bundoran.

The vehicle involved in the collision failed to remain at the scene.

Gardai have since seized a vehicle in connection with their probe and a technical examination is to be carried out.

Ronan’s funeral will take place at 12 noon on Thursday in St. Mary’s Church, Dunamore.

His heartbroken father, Dean Wilson, paid an emotional tribute to ‘the best son anyone could ask for’.

“I never thought I’d be saying this but I’ve lost my wee Roro; my main man, my hero and son,” he wrote on Facebook.

“I love him so much , he’s been taken from us by a hit-and-run driver. We will never be the same without you, we can’t cope. I’m broken.

“Roro was the best son anyone could ask for. Nine years of pure pleasure.

“Rest in peace my son and best friend. Love you forever. From Daddy, Mummy, Calum and Amy and all our surrounding family and friends. We love you Ronan.”

Gardaí are continuing to appeal to anyone with information or who may have witnessed this collision to contact them.

A spokesperson said: “Any road users or pedestrians who may have camera footage (including dash-cam), and who were travelling in the area of Atlantic Way, Bundoran, on Saturday evening between 8.45pm and 9.45pm, is asked to make this footage available to Gardaí.

“Anyone with information is asked to contact Ballyshannon Garda Station 071 985 8530, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda station.”