Latest road victim was ‘family man’

The man who lost his life in a road traffic collission in Ballyjamesduff last weekend has been named locally

The latest person to die on local roads this year has been described as “well got”, a “very hard worker”, and also a “family man”.

Aged in his early 30s and living in the Granard Road area of Ballyjamesduff, the latest road victim has been named locally as Polish national and dad-of-one Dariusz Michalak.

Mr Michalak, who worked in the painting and decorating business, moved to Cavan with his long-term partner from Dublin in the last year. The couple have an infant child under 12 months.

Mr Michalak tragically lost his life following a fatal road accident shortly before midnight on Saturday, December 9, when the van he was driving struck a wall at Finaway (R194), between Ballyjamesduff and Killyfassy Cross.

Units from Cavan and Bailieborough Garda stations attended at the scene along with local Ambulance and Fire services. Mr Michalak however was pronounced dead at the scene, from where his body was removed to Cavan General Hospital. Following the crash, traffic diversions were put in place for a time to allow for a technical examination by Garda forensic collision investigators.

Appeal for witnesses

The investigation team is now appealing for any witnesses, or anyone with video footage (dash-cam etc) who may have been travelling the R194 around the time of the collision, to contact Cavan Garda Station 049-4368800.

It brings to 11 the number of deaths on local roads to date in 2023 - with five occurring in Cavan and six in neighbouring Co Monaghan.

It also amounts to four fatal road accidents in just the past four months.

Nationally more than 170 people have lost their lives, and the crash which claimed Mr Michalak’s life was one of two over the past weekend - the other in Cork. A female pedestrian meanwhile was knocked down and killed by a truck in Dublin in an apparent hit-and-run on Monday, December 11.

“He was well got, a very hard worker. That’s what he was known for. And he was a family man,” Fine Gael councillor for the Ballyjamesduff area Trevor Smith said of Mr Michalak, extending his sympathies to the deceased’s partner, child, family and friends.

“It’s a terrible tragedy to have occurred so close to Christmas.”

Mr Michalak’s death occurs just over a month after 41-year-old married dad-of-two Evaldas Starkauskas died when the truck he was driving collided with another on the R188 near Cootehill (November 6).

The Lithuanian national lived with his family in the Darkley area of Shercock.

Separately, Mary Keogh from Dring on the Cavan-Longford border died following a single vehicle collision at Edgeworthstown, Co Longford, on Monday, December 4.

There were five road deaths in Cavan in 2022, the same as the year before, and six in Monaghan, an increase of one.

At the December Cavan Joint Policing Committee meeting attendees were informed that a total of five LA16 forms had been submitted by local authorities collating potentially useful information on possible contributory factors at locations where serious or fatal road accidents have occurred. Four of those forms were from Cavan between April and May of this year. The other was submitted by Monaghan County Council.

At the end of last month An Garda Síochána launched their Christmas and New Year Road Safety Enforcement Operation, which will run until January 4, 2024. The operation will focus on the dangers of driving under the influence of an intoxicant, without a seatbelt, speeding or using a mobile phone while driving.


Prior to that Jenny Drew (née Convery) from Beaghkearns died when a car collided with her bike at Cootehill Road, Monaghan Town in October.

In September teenager Jake Brennan (17) also sadly lost his life following a single-vehicle crash near Clontibret in September.

Other road deaths in 2023 include those of Kiea McCann (17) and Dlava Mohamed (16) while on the way to their debs outside Clones in July; Keely McGivney, a passenger in a tractor that hit a ditch near Middletown Cross in May; and three more road deaths in a little over a week - Piotr Aronik at Carrickgorman (May 5), Colm Tully at New Inns (May 4), and motorcyclist Aaron Keenan near Kingscourt (April 26).

Over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend (April 8) pedestrian Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Mc Goldrick (née McDermott) died following near her Clones home; and in March a man aged in his 50s died in a two car collision in Monaghan.