The community of Roseberry in Newbridge is in shock this week after the sudden death of former bakery owner and 46-year-old father-of-three Derek Phelan.
Mr Phelan fell down the stairs at Swifts Bar and Nightclub while out socialising in the early hours of Sunday morning last.
The late Mr Phelan was a well known and respected cabinet maker in Newbridge who, alongside his wife Mary, owned and ran The Tarokayla Bakery which was sold only a few weeks ago to the Sheridan family,
Head chef Ronan Sheridan, who reopened the bakery recently as The Coffee Bean Cafe, said the locals are taken aback by the tragic news.
“Everybody in Roseberry and Ailesbury Park are all taken aback,” he said.”I don’t know how many have been in [to the cafe] to see if it is true.
“He was a lively individual and a funny guy. He was good humoured. He would come in and have a chat and a bit of fun with the lads during the renovations and he was here for the opening.
“The whole community is in shock. It is absolutely tragic. You never expect something like that is going to happen.”
Mr Phelan is survived by his wife Mary who is currently undergoing treatment for an illness and his three daughters. The Leader understands that one of his daughters just got the results of her Leaving Certificate last week, while another is expected home shortly from a working summer holiday in New York.
A family spokespersons said “they are receiving fantastic support from the community” at this sad time.
Newbridge gardai said Mr Phelan’s sudden death is still under investigation. The deceased man was found at the bottom of a stairs at the nightclub shortly after 2am on Sunday morning. The Leader understands that Mr Phelan died as a result of his injuries sustained in the fall. His remains were removed to Naas Hospital where a postmortem was due to be carried out yesterday (Monday)
Sergeant Mary Keane of Newbridge Garda Station said yesterday she could not yet describe the incident as an “accident” until the investigation is complete. However, the Leader understands that there was nothing to indicate that there was anything suspicious about the fatal incident.
A spokesperson for Swifts Bar and Nightclub said that management and staff extend their sincere condolences to the Phelan family on their tragic loss.
“Our prayers are with you and we would like to thank our patrons for the respect and co-operation shown at this terrible loss. May he rest in peace.”
The tragedy is reminiscent of a similar nightclub fatality that occurred in Newbridge back in 2009 when a young Kildare man David Keegan (41) from Carbury died after he fell down the stairs of the Whitewater Bar.
There were no funeral arrangements for Mr Phelan available at the time of going to press on Monday.
- Paula Campbell