Man appeals 10-year term for fatal driving incident

A disqualified driver who was “two and a half times over the limit” when he crashed an uninsured, unroadworthy, and overloaded car, has moved to appeal his 10-year prison sentence for dangerous driving causing death.

Brian McDonagh, aged 25, of Toombeola, Roundstone, Connemara, had pleaded guilty at Galway Circuit Criminal Court to dangerous driving causing the death of Thomas McDonagh, 19, in a single-vehicle incident near Kylemore, Connemara, on February 2, 2014. He was also convicted of driving with no insurance.

Judge Rory McCabe sentenced McDonagh to 10 years imprisonment with the final two suspended on July 7, 2015, and disqualified him from driving for 20 years. The maximum sentence for dangerous driving causing death is 10 years.

Opening an appeal against the sentence yesterday, Vincent Heneghan, defending, said he accepted the circumstances of the case were “not good” but submitted that the sentencing judge erred in imposing the maximum 10-year sentence.

Comparable cases seemed to indicate sentences of about five years, Mr Heneghan submitted.

Reserving judgement, Mr Justice George Birmingham said the court hoped to be in a position to deliver its decision on Friday.


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