Limerick man charged over Parteen collision

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Michael Sheehan pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing serious bodily harm
A MOYROSS man who has admitted driving a car which knocked down three pensioners resulting in one of them having his leg amputated has been charged with multiple road traffic offences.

A MOYROSS man who has admitted driving a car which knocked down three pensioners resulting in one of them having his leg amputated has been charged with multiple road traffic offences.

Michael Sheehan, aged 26, of Cliona Park replied “I’m sorry, that was an accident” when he was charged with dangerous driving causing serious bodily harm to Eric Ryan and Liam Barry at Parteen on September 25, last.

Detective Garda Ronan O’Reilly said the defendant made no reply to any of the other ten charges when he was formally charged yesterday morning.

Mr Sheehan is accused of dangerous driving at six different locations in the Clonlara and Parteen areas of County Clare.

He is also charged with three counts of hit and run and with refusing to give a sample of his blood or urine to gardai at Mayorstone garda station on the same date.

Solicitor John Devane said his client has been in custody “for almost three-and-a-half months” having previously been refused bail when he was charged in connection with related burglary offences.

After being informed the Director of Public Prosecutions has directed trial on indictment in relation to three of the charges, Mr Devane told Judge Marian O’Leary his client is “anxious to obtain the book of evidence as expeditiously as possible”.

He said having regard to the potential garda objections to any bail application, it would be “pointless” to pursue such an application “at this point in time.”

Noting this, Judge O’Leary remanded the defendant in continuing custody to appear before the court, via video link, again next Tuesday.

It is expected a lengthy adjournment will be sought on that date to facilitate the preparation of the book of evidence in the case.

Mr Sheehan has been in custody since he was arrested following last September’s incident.

He first appeared in court a number of days afterwards when he was charged with burglary offences. Those offence are alleged to have happened in Aherina and Doonass on the same day as the collision.

During a contested bail application last September, Det Garda O’Reilly alleged that Sheehan was one of two men who were disturbed at the scene of a burglary in Doonass, Clonlara.

He said a Limerick-registered Hyundai Accent, which Sheehan has admitted owning and driving was pursued by a marked patrol car when gardai encountered the vehicle after it allegedly left the house.

That pursuit continued to Parteen and following what was described in court as a serious road traffic accident, the car struck a number of parked cars, resulting in the pensioners being injured.

Following the collision Sheehan fled the scene but was apprehended “a good distance away” by gardai.

Pensioner Eric Ryan from Corbally was seriously injured following the incident while his friends Liam Barry, a retired garda and Dermot O’Brien were also injured.

All three men, who are aged in their 70s, were returning to their cars after playing a game of pitch and putt in the village when the incident happened at around 5pm.

If convicted, Mr Sheehan faces a maximum sentence of ten years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to €20,000.

Because of the involvement of gardai in the lead-up to the collision, a separate investigation was launched by the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission.