DCSIMG

Man admits responsibility for Republic’s most deadly road crash

The car in which Hugh Friel (66) died is removed from the scene near Clonmany in Donegal, July 12, 2010

The car in which Hugh Friel (66) died is removed from the scene near Clonmany in Donegal, July 12, 2010

A Donegal man has pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing the deaths of eight people in a traffic collision in the county in July 2010.

Shaun Kelly of Hill Road, Ballymagan, Buncrana, entered his plea at Letterkenny Circuit Court when he appeared before a judge yesterday.

The fatal collision, which took place at Meenaduff between Buncrana and Clonmany in July 2010, was the Republic of Ireland’s worst ever road accident.

Seven of the victims were travelling in the same car.

Earlier in the day the 25-year-old had pleaded not guilty to the charge leading to a jury of six men and six women being selected.

However, Kelly subsequently asked to be re-arraigned and then changed his plea to guilty.

Judge John O’Hagan directed the preparation of probation and welfare reports and relevant medical reports to be made available to the court.

The judge also thanked the family members of the eight deceased men for attending court “so often.”

He also invited a representative of each of the families to compile a victim impact report – showing how the tragic deaths have affected their lives since the 
horrific crash.

Kelly was released on continuing bail and is due to be sentenced in December.

Those who died in the collision were Hugh Friel, 66, of Urris, Clonmany; Eamon McDaid, 22, of Ballymagan, Buncrana; Mark McLaughlin, 21, of Ballinahone, Fahan; Paul Doherty, 19, of Ardagh, Ballyliffin; Ciaran Sweeney, 19, of Ballyliffin; PJ McLaughlin, 21, of Rockstown, Burnfoot; James McEleney, 23, of Meenaduff, Clonmany; and Damien McLaughlin, 21, of Umricam, Buncrana.

 
 
 

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