At Kilrush District Court, Judge Patrick Durcan convicted Aaron Clohessy, aged 23, of Willow Green, Kilrush, Co Clare, of driving a bicycle without reasonable consideration when he crashed his bike into the car being driven by 75-year-old priest Fr Michael Sheedy.
Judge Durcan convicted Clohessy and fined him €200 after visiting the scene of the accident outside the local church with Fr Sheedy, Mr Clohessy, solicitor Michael Ryan, and Insp John Ryan.
Earlier this month, Fr Sheedy celebrated his 50 years in the priesthood with Golden Jubilee celebrations at St Senan’s Church and Kilrush Community Centre.
However, on November 30, opposite the same church, Clohessy crashed into Fr Sheedy’s car as Fr Sheedy was driving out of his Kilrush home.
Clohessy was cycling on the footpath at the time and he told the court that he was cycling on the footpath on his way to buying baby food.
The unemployed man, who has 30 previous convictions for road traffic offences, said that he was cycling on the footpath for safety reasons as it was a very foggy morning.
He said: “It was very foggy and I didn’t want to take any chances on the footpath — obviously, it was the wrong choice.”
In his evidence, Fr Sheedy said that Clohessy hit him from the left and ended up on my right.
He said: “I asked him if he was alright. He picked himself up gingerly at that stage.”
Insp Ryan said Clohessy’s road offences were not of a very serious nature.