An inquest into the death of Donegal teenager Shane Patton is to take place next week.

Shane was just 18 when he was killed by a driver with almost 500 previous convictions in Drumkeen in July, 2012.

Eamon Lynch pleaded guilty to careless driving causing the death of the teenager who had just completed his Leaving Certificate.

Lynch, who was jailed for 18 months, admitted he was driving at 165km per hour when he ploughed into Shane.

The father-of-three was drunk and had no driving license, valid NCT, tax or insurance on his car when he struck the 18-year-old.

Lynch fled to Northern Ireland following the tragedy.

However, he was extradited under a European arrest warrant to face trial for Shane’s death to which he pleaded guilty.

The court heard how Lynch, who is originally from Derry, was driving his Toyota Celica with his partner just after midnight on 12 July when his car collided with Patton’s.

Eamonn Lynch appears in court. Pic by Northwest Newspix.

The entire crash was caught on the CCTV system of a local service station.

Garda forensic examiners estimated that Lynch was traveling at 165km per hour on the main Ballybofey to Letterkenny Road which has a 100 km per hour speed limit.

Shane, of Cloghroe, Drumkeen, emerged from a side road but Lynch was traveling so fast that he did not have time to take evasive action and smashed into the teenager.

The dead teenager’s mother Julie read a victim impact statement out to the court.

She revealed how Shane, the eldest of a family of three children, had just completed his
Leaving Certificate and has just been accepted onto a course to train as a mechanic.

Mrs Patton said that her entire family were heartbroken by the “happy, beautiful boy” who had been taken from them.

She said Shane’s brother and sister, Dina and Jason, did not have someone to help them with their homework and how she set the table for four people instead of five.

She told how his grandmother Mary had to watch Shane being buried on what should have been a celebration of her 70th birthday.

Letterkenny Circuit Court also heard how Shane, who has passed his driving test aged just 17, had only ever wanted to be a mechanic.

While in school he would tell teachers what was wrong with their cars.

Shane’s dad Martin, who was also in court, was trying his best to get on with his life for the rest of his family, Mrs Patton said.

“I thought I would have to teach Shane about the world but I now have to teach the world about Shane. I have to tell people that it is not okay to drink and drive because it destroys families,” she added.

And she added “There is no quick fix and no getting over it. There is no glue to fix all the broken hearts.”

Shane’s inquest takes place at Letterkenny Courthouse next Wednesday before coroner Dr Denis McCauley.


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