County Limerick couple died following head-on car collision

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Maurice Hartnett (above) and his wife Margaret Hartnett (below) died following a road crash on July 29, 2009
A VERDICT of accidental death was recorded at the inquest of a married couple who died following a road collision in West Limerick almost four years ago.

A VERDICT of accidental death was recorded at the inquest of a married couple who died following a road collision in West Limerick almost four years ago.

Maurice Hartnett, 61, and his wife Margaret, 59, who were from Ballingarry died after the Volkswagen Caddy van they were travelling in was in collision with a Toyota RAV4 at Ardtomin on the R518 between Rathkeale and Askeaton.

During an inquest, which was heard this Wednesday, Garda Cathy Healy of Askeaton garda station said she first received a report in relation to the head-on collision at 5.50pm on July 29, 2009.

She told the inquest that she arrived at the scene a short time later and that Mrs Hartnett, who was a passenger in the VW Caddy was pronounced dead at the scene.

She said her husband Maurice was taken by ambulance to the Mid Western Regional Hospital where he was pronounced dead a number of hours after the crash.

Coroner Dr Timothy Casey, told the inquest that post mortem results showed that both Mr and Mrs Hartnett had sustained multiple injuries in the collision.

The cause of death he said was “acute cardio-respiratory failure secondary to multiple injuries sustained in a road traffic collision”.

After hearing the evidence, the jury of four men and two women returned a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence.

Earlier, Insp Brendan McDonagh told Dr Casey that there had been a successful prosecution in the circuit court in relation to the fatal collision.

Following an eight-day trial in January, Michael Harty, aged 30, of St Mary’s Terrace, Askeaton was convicted by a jury of dangerous driving causing the deaths of Mr and Mrs Hartnett.

There was evidence during the trial that he had been driving on the wrong side of the road and that he had been drinking earlier on the day of the collision.

The father-of-three was sentenced to five years imprisonment by Judge Carroll Moran.

Lawyers representing Harty have indicated that he is likely to appeal his conviction.