Six face trial over car crash incidents

DETAILED evidence was given in a trial yesterday of what was seen in the seconds before two cars crashed, resulting in the deaths of two teenagers.

The trial at Cork Circuit Criminal Court yesterday was delayed until the afternoon as one juror was caught in the icy road conditions. When the trial did recommence it was with nine men and two women as one juror had to be excused for legal reasons.

Six men denied charges arising out of a series of incidents culminating in the death of the teenagers.

Garda Michael Collins testified that he saw a red Ford Mondeo followed at a distance of about 10 metres by a black Volkswagen Golf and both travelling at a speed of approx 120km/h through the junction of Harbour View Road and Kilmore Road at about 11.30pm on May 13. Seconds later both cars crashed into a wall at the entrance to Hollywood estate.

Garda Thomas Keane said the dark Golf hit the red Mondeo from behind. “Basically both cars lost control and hit off the gable end of a house at Hollywood estate,” he said.

Cross-examining on behalf of Philip Murphy, who is alleged to have driven the Golf, Padraig O’Dwyer SC put details of Garda Keane’s original statement to him. In it, Garda Keane stated that the Mondeo turned right into Hollywood estate, appeared to lose control, was then hit by the Golf travelling behind, causing the Mondeo to spin out of control and crash into the gable end. Mr O’Dwyer suggested that according to this, the Mondeo was in the process of losing control when it was struck by the Golf. Garda Keane confirmed this outline was in his written statement.

Senior counsel Paul Greene, on behalf of James Simms, who allegedly drove the Mondeo, said that the written statement by Garda Keane included the observation that the Golf caused the Mondeo to spin out of control. Garda Keane agreed.

Philip Murphy, 40, of 58 Killala Gardens, Knocknaheeny, and James Simms, 27, of Adelaide Terrace, Cork, are both accused of dangerous driving of cars on Friday, May 14, on Harbour View Road causing the death of CJ Dolan, 16, and Derry O’Callaghan, 19. Philip Murphy is additionally charged with false imprisonment of Darren Lenehan on the same date and driving while under the influence of cannabis.

James Quilligan, 23, of 4 St. Martin’s Park, Tralee, Co Kerry, Shane Ahern, 21, formerly of Willow Bank, Fairhill, Cork, and Thomas Murphy, 42, of 23 Spriggs Road, Gurranabraher, Cork, are all accused of falsely imprisoning Darren Lenehan at Hollywood Estate, Blarney Road, Cork, on Thursday, May 13.

John Heaphy, 24, of 7 Oak Drive, Classis Lake, Ballincollig, Co Cork, is charged with threatening to damage property at 23 Spriggs Road.

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