A FAMILY whose father was killed in a road crash in County Limerick has been commended by a judge for appealing to him not to impose a jail sentence on their cousin who was driving the car on the night of the tragedy.
“Our father never held grudges and we would like to express that we have no ill-feeling towards Dean,” Ms Kinsella said in a victim impact statement which was read to Limerick Circuit Court this Wednesday.
Mr Healy and the bereaved family left court together after Judge Carroll Moran, moved by their Christian charity, imposed a suspended sentence.
The 32 year-old from Glencroy, Newport, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing the death of his uncle, Jim Kinsella, at Lissard, Galbally, on September 6, 2008.
The father-of-two, who was found to be driving while twice over the legal alcohol limit, also pleaded guilty a drink driving charge.
The nephew and his uncle frequented Gallahues Pub, The Premier Bar and An Poc Fada Bar in Ballylanders before travelling to a 40th birthday party in the Shamrock Lounge in Kilross in the hours before the collision.
After leaving Kilross at 4.15 am, Mr Healy was driving towards Galbally in a Mazda when he failed to negotiate a bend on the road and collided with a tree in a field, killing his 56-year-old uncle who was the front seat passenger.
A technical examination of the scene by gardai found that speed was not a factor but there was no evidence of braking.
A garda expert concluded that the incident was “owing to a momentary error of judgement”.