*The North Clare motorcyclist was killed outside Ballyvaughan. 

A 41-year old French tourist has appeared in court charged in connection with the road death of a motorcyclist in his 70s outside the village of Ballyvaughan.

At Ennis District Court on Friday, Olivier Le Bozec appeared after being charged with dangerous driving on the N67 leading out of Ballyvaughan on Thursday morning.

Sgt Louis Moloney told the court that “the serious road collision” in the Ballyvaughan area resulted in a fatality.

The motorcyclist, named locally as Jeremiah (Jerry) O’Connor, who lived in Lisdoonvarna, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Solicitor for Mr Le Bozec, John Casey said that his client, wife and child had arrived in Ireland just the day before to commence their holiday here.

Mr Le Bozec of Rue Georges Cadoudal, Locoal Mendon, France was driving his own French registered car when the collision occurred.

Sgt Moloney said that a more serious charge against the accused may follow in the future.

In evidence of arrest, charge and caution at 11.25pm at Ennis Garda Station on Thursday night, Garda Noreen King told the court that Mr Le Bozec made no reply after charge and caution.

Mr Le Bozec required the services of a French interpreter for the hearing and Sgt Moloney said that there was no objection to bail.

Mr Le Bozec – who is in full time employment in France – is free to return home to France and Sgt Moloney said that Mr Le Bozec can be excused from future court sittings until required.

Mr Le Bozec was in custody overnight at Ennis Garda Station and Judge Alec Gabbett granted Mr Le Bozec bail on condition that he has provided his permanent address and an email address to Gardai.

Sgt Moloney said that the case involves “unusual circumstances” and Judge Gabettt said that Gardaí not looking for additional bail conditions was “very helpful in the circumstances”.

In reply to Judge Gabbett asking are Gardaí satisfied that Mr Le Bozec will return to Ireland for the case, Sgt Moloney said “yes”.

Judge Gabbett granted legal aid to John Casey to represent the accused.

Judge Gabbett remanded Mr Le Bozec on bail and adjourned the case to November 15th. Judge Gabbett said that adjourning the case out to November for DPP directions “is realistic”.

As part of the investigation, Gardaí on Friday appealed for any witnesses to this collision to come forward.

A Garda spokesman said that any road users who may have camera footage (including dash-cam) and were travelling on the N67 at Ballyvaughan between 10am and 10:45am on Thursday 27th July 2023 are asked to make this footage available to Gardaí.

Local councillor for the area, Cllr Joe Garrihy (FG) said on Friday that “everyone is shocked and numbed in the area” by the death of Mr O’Connor.

Cllr Garrihy said that he only knew Mr O’Connor to see but from talking to people in the area “he was very highly thought of and was regarded as a lovely, quiet man and also as very experienced on his motor-bike”.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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