Northern Ireland news

South Armagh man charged over fatal crash which killed delivery driver and injured a Garda

Crash victim Stephen Marron

A 34-YEAR-OLD man from south Armagh was charged in a Co Monaghan court last night over a crash which killed a delivery driver and left a Garda officer injured.

James (Seamus) Tomany, with and address at Clay Road in Keady, faced four charges when he appeared before a special sitting of the district court in Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan, last night.

He was charged with dangerous driving causing the death of Stephen Marron and reckless endangerment while driving in Castleblayney, Co Monaghan.

He also faced two further section three non -fatal offence charges, which relate back to March 2018.

The court also heard evidence of a bench warrant for the arrest of Mr Tomany, issued in January 2011, which was executed yesterday.

The accused man’s lawyers did not object to an application to remand him in custody at Cloverhill Prison in Dublin from where he will appear in court via video link next Wednesday, December 5.

Father-of-two Stephen Marron (47) died after his parked car was hit by an Audi A6 as he waited outside a takeaway in Castleblayney on Tuesday night.

The Audi had been seen being driven erratically at around 11.30pm.

A Garda officer, Michael Devlin (31), had tried to stop the car but was dragged along the street for 500 metres.

It is understood Mr Tomany, who was wanted by gardaí for driving offences, had gone into Castleblayney Garda station minutes before the crash. Garda Devlin recognised Mr Tomany and tried to detain him but was pulled along by the car.

The officer was treated in hospital for facial, head and leg injuries but was later discharged.

Tánaiste Simon Coveney told the Dáil yesterday that justice minister Charlie Flanagan has sought a report on the case after it emerged a bench warrant had been issued for Mr Tomany seven years ago.

"Can I say in relation to this tragedy that happened to the Marron family," he said.

"This case has also been referred to GSOC (Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission).

"And so I am somewhat limited in terms of what I can say. But the important thing to say is that there will be a full investigation, in terms of a Garda investigation but also GSOC investigation and report to make sure that we understand what happened here and that we learn full lessons from these tragedies."

Meanwhile, a woman who helped Garda Devlin yesterday contacted gardaí, following an appeal.

A renewed appeal for witnesses was issued yesterday.

Gardaí have asked anyone who was near Main Street in Castleblayney between 11.15pm and 11.45pm on Tuesday to contact them.

Mr Marron, who was married with two young children, was an assistant church sacristan at St Mary's Church in Castleblayney and St Patrick's Church in Oram.

His funeral Mass is to be celebrated at St Mary's Church at 11am on Saturday.

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