Bus Eireann was today charged with owning a defective vehicle during the Navan bus crash.
Five schoolgirls were killed and 46 other school children were injured when the bus crashed on the Navan to Kentstown Road on May 23 last year.
At Navan District Court Bus Eireann and its holding company, CIE, faced a separate charge under section 64 the 1961 Road Traffic Act in connection with the crash.
Senior counsel, Paul McDermott representing Bus Eireann, said both charges related to owning a vehicle which had a defect which made it a danger to the public.
Mr McDermott said he wished to make a formal admission that Bus Eireann were the owners of the bus involved in the crash and added that the prosecution had consented to strike out the charge against CIE on foot of that admission.
He said there was consent from the Director of Public Prosecutions to adjourn the case until May 3 so that the DPP could decide if further charges would be brought. Judge John P Brophy asked him if Bus Eireann was contesting the charge.
“Until my client knows precisely what its been charged with, we’re not in a position to take instruction,” replied Mr McDermott.
It is understood that the charge under the road traffic act is based on allegations that the anti-lock brakes on the school bus were not working at the time of the crash.
Solicitor Michael Finnegan, representing the DPP made minor amendments to the charges, one of which was to change the title of the company charged to Bus Eireann ’Irish bus’ instead of Bus Eireann ’Dublin bus’.
He told Judge Brophy that he would check to see if there were further charges being brought. Judge Brophy set May 3 as the date for the case to be heard again.
“I would have preferred a day before or after that date, because it will be coming up to the anniversary of the event,” he said.