Northern Ireland

Co Fermanagh man jailed for fatal Bundoran crash which left two dead and a third seriously injured

Shiva Devine (20) from Belleek, and Conor McAleer, who was also 20, from Boa Island, Co Fermanagh, were both killed in the crash
Shiva Devine (20) from Belleek, and Conor McAleer, who was also 20, from Boa Island, Co Fermanagh, were both killed in the crash

A Co Fermanagh man has been jailed for five years and three months after pleading guilty to dangerous driving in relation to a fatal crash which left two people dead and a third person seriously injured.

Joseph Gilroy (23), from Lisnaskea, Co Fermanagh, had pleaded guilty to a number of charges including dangerous driving causing the deaths of two people, causing serious bodily harm to another person, driving without a licence and without insurance, and driving while disqualified.

He appeared before Donegal Circuit Court yesterday.

A previous court sitting heard that on the night of the crash, Mr Gilroy and his friends had been socialising in Fermanagh before travelling to Bundoran in Co Donegal to go to a night club.

When they left the club, six of them got into the Peugeot 306 which had travelled just 550 yards when it crashed at East End, Bundoran, just after 3am on August 19, 2018.

The car had initially hit a kerb before going sideways and hitting a wall and the corner of another building.

Shiva Devine and Conall McAleer, who were both aged 20, died at the scene.

Rachael Elliott, who is 27, suffered severe head and spinal injuries and now uses a wheelchair.

Five of those in the car had been thrown out through the boot of the Peugeot after it was ripped off on impact.

Joseph Gilroy left the scene before gardaí arrived, hid near a hotel and phoned his father Brendan Gilroy in Fermanagh.

Mr Gilroy travelled to Bundoran and brought his son back to the scene of the crash where he admitted being the driver of the car and was arrested.

Sentencing Joseph Gilroy, Judge John Aylmer said the crash had had a devastating impact on so many victims and their families.

He said the aggravating factors in the case were that Joseph Gilroy was disqualified at the time of the crash, having been convicted in Northern Ireland a short time previously and then fined and disqualified for a year.

He had also, by his own admission, consumed a quantity of alcohol - three vodkas and lucozade - had fled the scene, and had overloaded the car, with no occupants wearing seatbelts.

However, he said Mr Gilroy had entered the earliest possible plea of guilty and was extremely remorseful.

Now pursuing a career as a stone mason, he and his partner are expecting their first child.

Joseph Gilroy was sentenced to five years and three months in jail and disqualified from driving for 20 years.