Driver jailed after teenage passenger dies in crash

A teenager drowned when the speeding, overcrowded car in which he had been a front-seat passenger lost control and ended up in a waterlogged drain.

Thomas McDonagh was 19 years old when he lost his life in a single-vehicle incident near Kylemore, Connemara, in the early hours of February 2 last year.

Brian McDonagh, aged 24, from Toombeola, Roundstone, Connemara, had initially denied a charge of dangerous driving, causing the death of Thomas McDonagh, but changed his plea to guilty moments before his trial was due to begin at Galway Circuit Criminal Court last March.

Sentence was adjourned until yesterday for the preparation of reports.

Garda Shane Quinn said the car was travelling at excessive speed in Inagh Valley, Kylemore, and ended up lying on its left-hand side in a flooded drain.

He said cause of death was asphyxia due to crush injuries and drowning.

Imposing sentence, Judge Rory McCabe said the accused had displayed no remorse.

He imposed a 10-year sentence but said the accused was entitled to some credit for pleading guilty, albeit at a very late stage.

He suspended the final two years of the sentence. McDonagh was also disqualified from driving for 20 years and handed a concurrent six-month sentence for driving without insurance.


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