Limerick man jailed for knocking down pensioners withdraws his appeal

Ruaidhrí Giblin

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Ruaidhrí Giblin

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Limerick man jailed for knocking down pensioners withdraws his appeal

Michael Sheehan was jailed for eight years in 2015. He withdrew his appeal this Monday

A MOYROSS man who ploughed into three pensioners during a high-speed chase - resulting in one of them losing his leg - has withdrawn an appeal after being told his eight year prison sentence could also be increased.

Michael Sheehan, aged 29, of Cliona Park, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing serious bodily harm to Eric Ryan (80) and Liam Barry (77) in Parteen on September 25, 2014.

Eric Ryan – a former Limerick hurler – lost a leg while William Barry, a retired garda, suffered bleeding to the brain. A third man in his 70s, Dermot O’Brien, escaped injury and has since passed away.

Sheehan, who had more than 50 previous convictions, also pleaded guilty to two counts of burglary on the same date. He had admitted consuming eight bottles of cider and a naggin of vodka in the hours before the incident.

Judge Tom O’Donnell sentenced Sheehan to five years imprisonment at Limerick Circuit Court on October 1, 2015. He also imposed a concurrent 12-month term for the two burglaries. 

The judge directed that the five-year sentence be served consecutively to a three-year sentence which he imposed on Sheehan for another burglary in May 2014.

Sheehan was due to appeal the severity of his sentence at the Court of Appeal this Monday. 

However, before the case came on for hearing, the president of the court, Mr Justice George Birmingham, reminded Sheehan’s lawyers that the court had power to increase sentences as well as decrease them. 

Mr Justice Birmingham referred to a recent landmark judgment on burglaries of the home as well as burglary “sprees”.

Added to that, the judge said, was Sheehan’s dangerous driving and the “horrendous consequences” that were suffered. 

After taking instructions, Sheehan’s barrister, Keith Spencer BL, said his client wished to withdraw his appeal.

The court so ordered.