Gardai in Laois treating death of Newbridge priest Fr John Cummins as a 'tragic accident'

Fr Cummins died following a freak car accident

Conor Ganly

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Conor Ganly

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Gardai in Laois treating death of Newbridge priest Fr John Cummins as a 'tragic accident'

The late Fr John Cummins

Gardaí in Laois are treating the death of a Newbridge priest as a tragic accident but they say it will be some time before the exact cause is confirmed.

Gardaí are working on the basis that  Fr John  Cummins, 52, was likely to have been killed instantly after being struck by his own car last Wednesday afternoon, January 30.

While the investigation is ongoing, it is understood he suffered catastrophic injuries while attempting to stop the car from rolling down the driveway of his home of the parochial house on the Ballinakill road.

The gardaí are investigating the matter as a road traffic accident but are satisfied at this point it was a 'tragic accident'.

However, a full investigation will take place into the cause and reports will be completed for a hearing of the  Coroners Court. 

A post mortem was carried out on the remains of the priest in the Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise. The vehicle has also been inspected by garda investigators.

The incident took place sometime early last Wednesday afternoon.

Gardaí, Laois Fire Service and HSE paramedics all attended the scene but were unable to save the life of the priest who had become popular since he was appointed PP in August, 2017.

Fr Cummins was laid to rest on Monday afternoon after Mass in the Kildare town where his family still run the popular Con Cummins pub on Main Street.

His adopted community in Abbeyleix and Ballyroan parish mourned his loss in large numbers last Saturday where Requiem Mass was celebrated at the Church of the Most Holy Rosary.

Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin  Denis Nulty celebrated the Mass which was attended by family, friends, colleagues in the clergy and many local people.

There are so many people feel bereft and adrift when someone so gifted, so able, so talented is taken away literally in the twinkling of an eye. We are indeed broken and crushed. 

"He loved being a priest. He gave his life to the church and for the church. He made being holy positive again. At a time when the church needs more good priests on the pitch, it feels if God scored an own goal last Wednesday evening. John was not just a good priest he was a great one," he said.  

SEE ALSO: Huge crowd gathered in Newbridge this morning to pay respects to the late Fr John Cummins

SEE ALSO: Tributes paid to Kildare priest Fr John Cummins who died in freak car accident in Abbeyleix