Inquest begins into death of Elphin man killed after attempt to stop car theft

Jul 22, 2022 16:44 By Shannonside News
Inquest begins into death of Elphin man killed after attempt to stop car theft
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Ian McDonnell died five days after being injured in an attempt to stop the theft of his car.

The wife of a Roscommon businessman who died from injuries sustained while trying to prevent his car from being robbed in Dublin earlier this year has described hearing about the fatal incident while waiting to catch a plane home from England.

Ian McDonnell (50) a married father of three from Elm Close, Lucan, Co Dublin was run over by his own vehicle after it was stolen from outside his business premises on January 23.

The Elphin man died five days later from his injuries at Tallaght University Hospital.


The Volkswagen Passat was taken after Mr McDonnell had left the engine running while he called into his used car dealership, Ozone Cars on Robinhood Road, Clondalkin on a Sunday evening at around 6pm.

It is understood he jumped on the bonnet to try and prevent the theft of the vehicle.

He was discovered lying on the ground with life-threatening injuries a short distance away.


At a sitting of Dublin District Coroner's Court on Friday, the victim's wife, Monica McDonnell, recalled how she was waiting in an airport in Liverpool for a flight home to Dublin after attending a football match when she was notified by gardaí about her husband being injured after being hit by a car.

Ms McDonnell said she had last seen her husband the previous day when he dropped her and their two daughters, Clodagh and Aoife, to Dublin Airport.

She said they were flying to Liverpool before going on to Manchester to attend a match at Old Trafford between Manchester United and West Ham.


Ms McDonnell said she had been exchanging texts and photos with her husband regularly that day and he had finished work so that he could watch the match they were attending on TV, with their son, Gareth.

"We were in contact a lot," she recalled.

She said they spoke again the following day by phone when she was having a meal in Manchester and at around 3pm and they said they would talk again later that evening.


Ms McDonnell said her daughter, Aoife, alerted her to a missed call from an unknown number while they were waiting to catch a flight from Liverpool at around 10pm.

She said she then received another call from gardaí in Clondalkin who informed her about what had happened.

The inquest heard gardai met Ms McDonnell at Dublin Airport and brought her to the hospital to see her husband.


Ms McDonnell said she formally identified his body to gardaí after he died from his injuries five days later.

She said she was shown a photo of the car her husband was driving but nothing stood out as strange.

Ms McDonnell, who comes originally from Elphin, Co Roscommon, described how she met her future husband at school in her hometown.

The inquest heard the couple moved to Dublin in 1995 and had been together for 32 years.

The garda leading the investigation into Mr McDonnell's death, Detective Inspector Dan Callaghan, applied for an adjournment of the inquest on the basis that criminal proceedings are being considered in the case.

The coroner, Aisling Gannon granted the application and adjourned the hearing until January 19, 2023.

Offering condolences and sympathy to Ms McDonnell and her family, Ms Gannon said she was sure that attending the inquest was "a difficult day for you."

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