A YOUNG man who knocked down and killed a father-of one in Castleconnell more than two years ago was stoned at the time, a court has been told.
Noel Quinlivan, 23, of Scanlan Park, Castleconnell pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing the death of Tom O’Shea at Main Street Casteconnell in the early hours of September 6, 2009.
Mr O’Shea, 40, who had been socialising with his wife and a number of friends was knocked down as he and his wife were being collected by their daughter to go home at around 2am. His wife, Lisa, received minor injuries in the impact.
When the defendant was questioned by gardai the day after the incident he denied he was the driver of the Nissan Primera car and insisted he was a passenger.
However, when he was re-arrested a number of months later he admitted that he was the driver when the accident happened. However he told gardai he did not realise that he had hit Mr O’Shea until he saw the commotion on the road.
Quinlivan said he had been drinking earlier in the day and he admitted he was stoned as he had also smoked five or six joints of cannabis. After the accident he went to his girlfriend’s house where he continued to drink and smoke cannabis.
In a victim impact statement, Mr O’Shea’s widow said she still experiences “intense feelings of sadness” and said some days she cannot get out of bed. “The laughter is gone from our house,” she said adding that the pain is “unbearable at times.”
Anthony Sammon SC said his client would have to live with what he did for the rest of his life and he said he was conscious of the “dreadful loss” he had caused.
Judge Carroll Moran will impose sentence on February 10, next.
*A full version of this story was published in the Limerick Leader, print edition, dated January 21, 2012