Inquest hears from woman whose car was damaged

Clonmany crash

Inquest hears from woman whose car was damaged

A woman whose car was damaged in an accident that killed eight men has said she was driving on the correct side of the road when she was struck by a car that was involved in the fatal collision.

The inquest into the eight deaths in Inishowen in 2010 was told that Anne McGilloway should not have any liability or blame apportioned to her for the accident.

On Thursday, the second day of the inquest heard evidence from Mrs. McGilloway whose silver Renault Megane was struck by the black Volkswagen Passat driven by Shaun Kelly who is serving a jail sentence after admitting dangerous driving causing the eight deaths at at Glassmullan on the R238 between Buncrana and Clonmany on July 11th 2010.

Seven young men who were travelling in the Passat died. The men in the car were: Eamonn McDaid, 22; Mark McLaughlin, 21; Paul Doherty, 19; Ciaran Sweeney 19;PJ McLaughlin, 21; James McEleney, 23, and Damien McLaughlin, 21.

Hugh Friel, 66, who was travelling on his own after attending bingo in Buncrana, was also killed.

Solicitor Ciaran MacLochlainn told the inquest that Mr Kelly had “pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing death but he did not plead guilty to causing the accident”.

The inquest heard evidence that Mrs McGilloway’s car had a bald tyre, a defective dipped headlight and her NCT had expired two weeks earlier. She was not prosecuted for any motoring offences.

The day’s evidence saw heated legal argument involving the representatives of Mr Kelly, Mrs McGilloway and the Garda commissioner.

Coroner John Madden told the jury on Thursday that the coroner’s court is “not a criminal court or a court of appeal”.

He refused to accept an engineer’s report submitted by Mr Kelly’s legal team, saying it would“imply guilt and we cannot do that”.

Mrs McGilloway, 62, told the inquest that she had attended bingo in Buncrana and saw Hugh Friel there. On her way home she overtook Mr Friel’s car.

She said that, at a set of bends, she saw a black car travelling at speed in the opposite direction. The car came across the white line and she saw the driver of the car turning the steering wheel to pull the car back.

She heard a loud bang and the airbags were activated. She lost control of the car which then took some time to come to a stop.

She said that as far as she knew there was nothing wrong with her car before the accident.

Mrs McGilloway was questioned by Mr MacLochlainn and relatives of the deceased.

Her solicitor Frank Dorrian instructed her not to answer a number of questions put to her.

Mr MacLochlainn suggested to Mrs. McGilloway that she was over the white line when the collision with the Passat occurred.

Mr Dorrian said Mrs McGilloway was being blamed for the accident, which he said was “outrageous”.

"I was not on the wrong side of the road. I was on the right side of the road,” Mrs McGilloway said.

Mrs McGilloway said that she does not sleep at night since the accident. “I have to cope with it and I am here to tell the truth and nothing but the truth,” she said.

Mr Sweeney, father of Ciaran Sweeney, said there were no accusations or suggestions of culpability or blame being put to Mrs McGilloway. “It is about peace of mind for all involved,” he said.

Sgt Carol Doherty, a member of the Garda investigation team, told the inquest that she did not know when she found out about the defects on Mrs McGilloway’s car and that it had no NCT.

Mr MacLochlainn asked her who made the decision not to prosecute Mrs McGilloway, a question that was ruled out of order by the coroner after an objection by Mr Byrne.

The inquest continues.

Pictured: Dr John Madden, Coroner

A woman whose car was damaged in an accident that killed eight men has said she was driving on the correct side of the road when she was struck by a car that was involved in the fatal collision.

The inquest into the eight deaths in Inishowen in 2010 was told that Anne McGilloway should

not have any liability or blame apportioned to her for the accident.

The second day of the inquest heard evidence from Mrs. McGilloway whose silver Renault Megane

was struck by the black Volkswagen Passat driven by Shaun Kelly who is serving a jail sentence after admitting dangerous driving causing the eight deaths at at Glassmullan on the R238 between Buncrana and Clonmany on July 11th 2010.

Seven young men who were travelling in the Passat died. The men in the car were: Eamonn

McDaid, 22; Mark McLaughlin, 21; Paul Doherty, 19; Ciaran Sweeney 19;PJ McLaughlin, 21; James McEleney, 23, and Damien McLaughlin, 21.

Hugh Friel, 66, who was travelling on his own after attending bingo in Buncrana was also

killed.

Solicitor Ciaran MacLochlainn told the inquest that Mr Kelly had “pleaded guilty to dangerous

driving causing death but he did not plead guilty to causing the accident”.

The inquest heard evidence that Mrs McGilloway’s car had a bald tyre, a defective dipped

headlight and her NCT had expired two weeks earlier. She was not prosecuted for any motoring offences.

The day’s evidence saw heated legal argument involving the representatives of Mr Kelly, Mrs

McGilloway and the Garda commissioner.

Coroner John Madden told the jury on Thursday that the coroner’s court is “not a criminal2

court or a court of appeal”.

He refused to accept an engineer’s report submitted by Mr Kelly’s legal team, saying it would

“imply guilt and we cannot do that”.

Mrs McGilloway, 62, told the inquest that she had attended bingo in Buncrana and saw Hugh

Friel there. On her way home she overtook Mr Friel’s car.

She said at a set of bends she saw a black car travelling at speed in the opposite direction.

The car came across the white line and she saw the driver of the car turning the steering wheel to pull the car back.

She heard a loud bang and the airbags were activated. She lost control of the car which then

took some time to come to a stop.

She said that as far as she knew there was nothing wrong with her car before the accident.

Mrs McGilloway was questioned by Mr MacLochlainn and relatives of the deceased.

Her solicitor Frank Dorrian instructed her not to answer a number of questions put to her.

Mr MacLochlainn suggested to Mrs. McGilloway that she was over the white line when the collision

with the Passat occurred.

Mr Dorrian said Mrs McGilloway was being blamed for the accident, which he said was “outrageous”.

"I was not on the wrong side of the road. I was on the right side of the road,” Mrs McGilloway

said.

Mrs McGilloway said that she does not sleep at night since the accident. “I have to cope

with it and I am here to tell the truth and nothing but the truth,” she said.

Mr Sweeney, father of Ciaran Sweeney, said there were no accusations or suggestions of culpability

or blame being put to Mrs McGilloway. “It is about peace of mind for all involved,” he said.

Sgt Carol Doherty, a member of the Garda investigation team, told the inquest that she did

not know when she found out about the defects on Mrs McGilloway’s car and that it had no NCT.

Mr MacLochlainn asked her who made the decision not to prosecute Mrs McGilloway, a question

that was ruled out of order by the coroner after an objection by Mr Byrne.

The inquest continues.