The family of a Youghal man critically injured in a road accident in Malta last week are hoping and praying he makes a full recovery.
67-year-old David Cooley had only arrived on the island a few hours before the incident in the early hours of Friday morning, flying from Cork on a Thursday evening flight with his wife Margaret and another couple.
They were making their way to a restaurant at around 1am when Mr Cooley was hit by a Mercedes Smart car.
Maltese media report that the driver of the car appeared to lose control in the moments before the crash. The man, a 30-year-old from the island, reportedly failed a breathalyser test at a police station afterwards.
Mr Cooley was rushed to Mater Dei Hospital in Msida, where he remains in a critical condition.
The Cooleys have three adult daughters and members of the family have flown out to support Mrs Cooley at her husband’s bedside.
A spokesperson for the family said they are trying to come to terms with the shocking accident and have asked for privacy.
“They are taking it day by day,” the spokesperson said. “He has sustained serious injuries so we have to wait and see.”
Mr Cooley, a retired Cork County Council worker, is well known in the community in Youghal.
His connection to Malta was sparked by a remarkable sequence of events that saw him given an artefact with historic significance for the island. He is a collector of memorabilia and was given a naval crest that had lain in a drawer for decades. Research revealed it to be a crest representing the Maltese heritage site, Fort St Angelo, one of only two in existence.
Mr Cooley presented the crest to a Maltese museum in 2016, and retained a special fondness for the mediterranean island.