No lights driver failed to give breath sample

Court
Court

A Dunloy man who killed two women in a road accident in the Republic of Ireland twelve years ago has now admitted a charge of dangerous driving after colliding with a vehicle as he drove without lights after midnight.

In 2005, Paul Patrick Duffy, now of Hillside Drive, was an unaccompanied learner driver when he killed a mother of eight and her aunt while overtaking on the N5 near Castlebar, County Mayo.

On Monday Duffy appeared in the dock at Coleraine Magistrates Court.

He pleaded guilty to charges of dangerous driving at Bridge Road, Dunloy, failing to remain at the scene of an an accident and failing to report an accident.

He also admitted failing to give a preliminary sample of breath and failing to provide a specimen of breath at Coleraine Police Station.

A prosecutor said the defendant had a relevant record from the Republic and the court was told it was for dangerous driving causing death when he received a suspended prison term and a driving ban at Mayo Circuit Court in Castlebar in 2006.

The prosecutor said at 12.05am on September 4 this year a woman was driving on the Bellaghy Road, Dunloy, when she approached roadworks and with the path clear she proceeded but she then spotted a vehicle approaching with its lights off.

She was forced to pull in and the other vehicle collided with the ‘offside’ of her vehicle.

When the other vehicle did not stop she turned round and followed and saw it cross a T-junction, mount a kerb and collide with a fence.

The prosecutor said the woman reported the matter to police and when officers arrived Duffy refused to give a breath sample at the scene, nor at Coleraine Police Station but admitted having “one or two drinks in the pub”

Duffy told police he couldn’t give samples due to “asthma”.

The prosecutor said the defendant told police the lights on his vehicle came on automatically and he believed they were on at the time.

District Judge Peter King said he wanted a pre-sentence report and adjourned the case until the end of October.

In 2006, Duffy pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing the deaths of two people at Gortnafolla, Turlough, Castlebar, on July 14, 2005.

He killed a 48-year-old woman from County Mayo and her 77-year-old aunt from County Roscommon, and was given a suspended jail term and was banned from driving.

That court heard he was on his way to Westport for an appointment with a chiropodist when the accident occurred and he had no recollection what of what happened due to the injuries he had received.