Inishowen driver denies being on wrong side of road

A woman who clipped off a car just seconds before it was involved in a head-on collision killing eight men has denied she was on the wrong side of the road.
Inishowen driver denies being on wrong side of road

Ann McGilloway was giving her evidence at the inquest into Ireland’s worst ever road crash at Inishowen Coroner’s Court in Co Donegal yesterday.

The 62-year-old woman from Clonmany was returning home from bingo when she partially collided with a car being driven by Shaun Kelly, 27.

Seven of Kelly’s friends and pensioner Hugh Friel, 66, were killed following a car crash on the evening of July 11, 2010, which resulted in Kelly being jailed after pleading guilty to dangerous driving causing death.

Ms McGilloway admitted she did not have a valid NCT, had a worn front-left tyre, and a broken front-left headlight.

However, solicitor Frank Dorrian said his client had not been prosecuted and was not on trial.

Ms McGilloway was asked questions from the floor from a number of members of the bereaved families.

On several occasion, Mr Dorrian advised Ms McGilloway not to answer questions from the floor and reminded the court that she was not facing prosecution.

Reading her statement, Ms McGilloway told how, on the night of July 11, 2010, she overtook Mr Friel after the North Pole Bar between Buncrana and Clonmany after leaving St Mary’s Hall in Buncrana having played bingo.

She said the reason she overtook Mr Friel was because he drove very slowly but added that she was only driving at between 40mph and 50mph.

She said she saw a black car coming at speed towards her and it veered over the white line onto her side of the road while the driver tried to pull the steering wheel back towards his side of the road.

“I then said to myself ‘Thank God, he is going to miss me’,” she said.

She then heard a loud bang and the airbags in her car went off and her car “seemed to slide for ages” before coming to a stop.

She eventually managed to get out of her car and a passing couple contacted the emergency services.

Under questioning from the families, Ms McGilloway added: “I was not on the wrong side of the road, I was on the right side of the road.”

Coroner John Madden reminded Ms McGilloway that she did not have to answer any questions that will incriminate her.

However Anthony Friel, brother of the late Hugh Friel, said: “I want answers and I will get them here today. I lost my brother. Before I leave, I will get answers or I will stop the whole lot.”

Garda Sergeant Carol Doherty gave evidence of being summoned to the scene of the crash and finding the bodies of the dead men

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