Drunk driver who left man with severe injuries gets license back

July 11, 2018

A Kilmacrennan man who drank five pints of beer and smashed into another driver leaving him temporarily in a wheelchair has been given his driving license back.

Manus ‘Mandy’ Sweeney was left with horrific injuries after he was struck by a jeep being driven by Brian Rodden on September 1st, 2009.

Rodden had consumed five pints at the Millbridge Bar before trying to drive just over a mile to his home.

However, Rodden’s jeep veered across the road just outside Kilmacrennan village and struck Mr Sweeney’s van head-on.

Mr Sweeney had to be cut from his van and was rushed to Letterkenny General Hospital before being transferred to a Dublin hospital for treatment.

The court was told that Mr Sweeney was initially in a wheelchair but then needed crutches to get around.

Rodden told the court that he had tried to phone his victim but Mr Sweeney’s wife said she did not think it was a good idea.

At the time he told Letterkenny Circuit Court “I’m very sorry for what has happened to him and his family and if I could take it back I would.”

Speaking during the initial case in November, 2011, Barrister Peter Nolan said his client is trying to come to terms with his drinking and is attending addiction services.

Judge John O’Hagan said it was a tragedy for both sides in the case because he did not think Rodden was a man who would normally come before the courts.

He sentenced Rodden to 18 months in prison for dangerous driving causing serious injury and suspended the last six months.

He also imposed a 12 year driving ban on Rodden.

Rodden appeared at Letterkenny Circuit Court yesterday and applied to have his driving license restored.

Judge John Aylmer said it is inherent that with any disqualification, the defendant is entitled to make an application for a restoration after half of the disqualification had been served.

The court also heard that a personal injuries case had been settled on behalf of the injured party and that there had been no objection from the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Judge Aylmer directed that Mr Rodden’s license be restored from November 10th, 2019.


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