A Cork student pleaded guilty yesterday to a charge of dangerous driving causing the death of a mother and daughter last Christmas.
Susan Gleeson, aged 21, of Kilworth, Co Cork, was arraigned at Cork Circuit Criminal Court on the single charge yesterday.
She pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing the death of Cork mother Geraldine Clancy, aged 58, and her daughter, Louise Ann, aged 22, on December 22 last year near Ballyderown on the Fermoy-Kilworth-Ballyduff road.
Imelda Kelly, prosecuting, said sentencing in the case would have to be adjourned as time was needed to get a victim impact statement from the family of the deceased.
James O’Mahony, defending, said he had already obtained a report from a counsellor but was seeking a report on the defendant from a psychiatrist.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said he was reluctant to order a psychiatric report unless there was some history of psychiatric difficulties prior to the incident at the centre of the charge as that could delay the case by several months.
Mr O’Mahony said there was no such prior history of psychiatric difficulties and his client was anxious to have the matter finalised as quickly as possible.
“The facts of this case are so sad for everybody involved, the circumstances so unfortunate. It is a tragic case,” said Mr O’Mahony.
Judge Ó Donnabháin suggested Mr O’Mahony might consider obtaining a report from a GP, to which he agreed. The case was adjourned to November 21, and Gleeson was remanded on continuing bail to that date.
The judge said if he determined there was a need for a psychiatric report at the sentencing hearing, he would direct one at that stage.
Ms Clancy and her daughter, Louise, who had just returned home for Christmas from the University of Sussex at Falmer near Brighton where she was on an Erasmus exchange programme from UCC, were on their way into Fermoy three days before Christmas when the fatal crash occurred.
An inquest this year heard that Dr Jason Van der Velde pronounced Ms Clancy and her daughter dead at 12.20pm at the scene of the collision at Ballyderown, Kilworth, after their upturned car was removed from the flooded dyke just off the Fermoy-Ballyduff road.
The inquest also heard evidence from Dr Margot Bolster, the assistant state pathologist, that she carried out postmortems on both deceased at Cork University Hospital on December 23; she concluded they both died from acute cardiorespiratory failure due to drowning.
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