A Judge has asked the public to remember the suffering of the emergency service personnel who attended the scene of Ireland’s worst ever road smash in Co Donegal.
Judge John O’Hagan this week jailed Shaun Kelly for two years after he pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing the deaths of eight people in Inishowen in 2010.
But Circuit Court Judge O’Hagan took time out of his sentence to pay tribute to those who attended the scene at Glasmullen outside Carndonagh on July 10th, 2011.
Judge O’Hagan said the carnage met by Gardai, fire service and medical personnel must have ben horrific.
“The thought of the emergency services arriving and having to clean it up. Some probably needed counseling after it. It was a horrific event.
“There were 10 or 12 firemen at the scene. There were five Gardai, ambulance personnel, a priest, a doctor and a Gardai Inspector – the number of people affected by an accident like this. This was indeed a shocking situation,” he said.
Letterkenny Circuit Court heard how those personnel tried in vain to save the lives of those hurt in the crash.
Medics tried to perform CPR on 66 year old pensioner Hugh Friel at the scene.
However, Mr Friel, who was returning for playing bingo, died a short time later.
The seven passengers in the car being driven by Kelly, now 26, were killed instantly.
The fire service cut Kelly from the vehicle and he was rushed to Letterkenny General Hospital suffering form multiple injuries including brain damage.
Judge O’Hagan said he had consider all options when sentencing Kelly including community service and also a suspended sentence.
But he said “It is with regret that I am not taking up any of them.”
He added “It is not for me to take revenge on Mr Kelly for what he did but I will punish him.”
He sentenced Kelly to a total of four years but suspended the last two years and disqualified him from driving for ten years.