€130k for boy whose mum died in car crash

A 10-year-old boy whose father was convicted of drink driving following a car crash in which his mother was killed has been awarded over €130,000.

Dara Conway, son of Kerry ex-hurler Michael Conway, will receive the majority of a €165,000 settlement approved by the High Court in Limerick yesterday.

In September 2011, Mr Conway was fined €400 and disqualified from driving for two years after he admitted drink driving following a crash on the Lixnaw to Abbeydorney Rd in Kerry on October 14, 2010.

His partner, 27-year-old Louise McKenna, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Before approving the settlement yesterday, which had been taken on Dara’s behalf by his maternal grandmother Mary McKenna, Mr Justice Paul McDermott said it was a very difficult case.

He said there had been a terrible loss and while money can never recompense the bereaved, he felt, in recognising the interests of the family, it was appropriate to rule in favour of the settlement.

The court heard the breakdown of the €165,000 settlement included €14,000 for funeral expenses and smaller amounts for the boy’s maternal grandparents.

Some €133,000 was awarded for the care and dependency of the child, who lives with his father and his new partner.

Mr Justice McDermott said the issue of contributory negligence could have arisen had the matter gone to trial, as the deceased knew her partner was intoxicated and no seatbelts were worn.

During the hearing at Listowel District Court in September 2011, the court was told how Michael Conway, a former Kerry county hurler and Labour local election, candidate was left “extremely traumatised” by the accident that “haunts every waking moment of his life”.

“This is a man who lived for his partner and his child and a more decent man won’t come before the court ever,” his solicitor Padraig O’Conell told the court.

“The events of that night will live forever in his memory,” the solicitor added.

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