A young female Co Down driver crashed into two female cyclists while on her way to show her mother Fr Ted’s House in the Burren in Co Clare last September, a court has heard.
At Ennis District Court on Wednesday, solicitor for Cara Jane O’Neill of Lyna Doyle Place, Downpatrick, Co Down, Billy Loughnane said Ms O’Neill did not see a Stop sign before crashing into the two cyclists.
Sgt Aiden Lonergan said that one of the cyclists sustained fractures to her lower back and had to be removed by ambulance from the scene to hospital after the collision with Ms O’Neill’s silver Vauxhall Astra.
Mr Loughnane said that what occurred on September 12th last “was most unfortunate”.
Mr Loughnane said that Ms O’Neill - who turned 21 last December -was with her mother visiting Ms O’Neill’s aunt at Clarinbridge, Co Galway for the weekend.
Fr Ted's House
He said: “They decided before they went home that they would get to see something her mother always wanted to see - Fr Ted’s House.”
Fr Ted's House overlooks the beauty spot, Mullaghmore in the Burren in Co Clare and the accident took place north of Fr Ted’s House at Tulla, Boston.
Ms O’Neill was charged with dangerous driving which carries an automatic two-year disqualification on conviction.
Mr Loughnane asked that the charge be reduced to careless driving, he said that “there is no suggestion that there was anything reckless or dangerous in the manner Ms O'Neill was driving until the time she went through the ‘Stop' sign which she just didn't see”.
Mr Loughnane said that McDonald's worker, Ms O’Neill and her two passengers “were concerned and in discussions what direction to go in and the decision was made to go straight on," he told Judge Mary Larkin: "You know the area as well as I do, and she could have driven through that ‘Stop’ sign 50 times that day and caused no injury.”
Mr Loughnane said that all of Ms O’Neill’s sympathies are with the cyclists “and she is truly mortified over this lapse of concentration”.
Judge Larkin reduced the charge to careless driving and convicted and fined Ms O’Neill €200 for the offence.