Man pleads guilty over eight crash deaths

Published Tuesday, 22 July 2014
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A Co Donegal man has pleaded guilty to one charge of dangerous driving causing the death of eight people four years ago.

Man pleads guilty over eight crash deaths
The car which Shaun Kelly was driving is removed from the scene in July 2010. (© Pacemaker)

Shaun Kelly, 25 and with an address in Hill Road, Ballymagan, Buncrana originally pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The two car collision outside Clonmany in July 2010 was Ireland's worst ever road crash.

Hugh Friel, 66 and from Clonmany, was the oldest of the eight people to die.

He was driving home from a bingo night when a car with eight young men on board crashed into him on the Inishowen Peninsula's Buncrana to Clonmany road.

The seven passengers of the other car died at the scene.

Their names were: Eamonn McDaid and Damien McLaughlin, both from Buncrana; James McEleney, from Clonmany; Patrick McLaughlin, from Burnfoot; Mark McLaughlin from Fahan; Paul Doherty and Ciaran Sweeney, from Ballyliffin.

They were aged between 19 and 23.

Shaun Kelly, who was driving the car, was seriously injured - but survived.

The eight young men had been watching the World Cup final before packing into a single vehicle for a lift home from the village of Clonmany.

In Letterkenny Circuit Court on Tuesday morning, Judge O'Hagan released Mr Kelly on bail until December.

Stephen Maguire, editor of Donegal Daily, was in court.

"There were fairly dramatic scenes in court. People were visibly taken aback by his decision [to plead guilty.] What happened then was, the judge released Mr Kelly on his own bail 'til December when he will appear again.

"He also asked for various medical and different reports to be carried out on Mr Kelly."

© UTV News
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