Driver who killed two says he wishes he could turn back clock

Five thrown out back of car following high-speed crash in Donegal in August 2018

Five people were flung out of the boot of a speeding car as it reached speeds of up to 121km/h following a crash in Co Donegal, a court has heard.

Two young people were killed instantly and another young woman left in a wheelchair following the crash in Bundoran on August 19th, 2018.

The driver of the car, Joseph Gilroy, who was already disqualified from driving in Northern Ireland, appeared at Donegal Circuit Court for sentencing on Tuesday.

Gilroy (23), of Lisnaskea, Co Fermanagh, pleaded guilty to a range of charges including dangerous driving causing death and serious injury, driving without a licence and driving without insurance.


Two friends, Shiva Devine and Conall McAleer, both aged 20, died in the crash while another friend Rachel Elliott, suffered life-changing injuries.

Ms Elliott appeared in court in a wheelchair.

Garda Oliver Devaney outlined the circumstances of the crash.

He told how the friends had been socialising in Fermanagh earlier before travelling to Bundoran to attend a nightclub.

They left the nightclub and six of them got into the blue Peugeot 306 before it travelled just 550 yards before it crashed at Single Street, East End, Bundoran just after 3am.

The defendant had taken over driving the car from Beleek to Bundoran from Conor Brennan who was the owner.

Garda forensic evidence estimated that the car increased in speed as it travelled through a number of bends on a continuous white line before the driver lost control.

The driver initially hit a kerb and the car went sideways, hit a wall and hit the corner of another building.

Five occupants, who were not wearing seatbelts, were thrown out of the boot of the car after it was ripped off.

The front-seat passenger remained in the car and was able to get out of the car himself.

Mr McAleer and Ms Devine died at the scene.

Gilroy fled the scene before gardaí arrived and he hid in the vicinity of the Great Northern Hotel before phoning his father Brendan in Fermanagh.

His father brought his son back to the location of the crash where he admitted being the driver of the car and was arrested.

Ms Elliott, who was left in a wheelchair as a result of the accident, said the accident had changed her forever.

Ms Devine’s mother Nicola said her life and her family’s lives and that of her daughter’s son Kyle would never be the same again.

She described her late daughter as beautiful, funny and smart and said that she could never have imagined her life without her.

Mr McAleer’s mother Rebecca said her only son was an electrician but his passion was farming and on the day she last saw him he fixed her tumble dryer and levelled the stones in her street in time for his sister’s party.

She added: “I never got to remind him how proud I was of the young man he had become and what a great gift it was to have him as a son.”

Gilroy, fighting back tears, told the court how he wished he could turn back the clock on all that had happened.

In a statement read out by his barrister Colm Smyth he said he wanted to apologise to everyone who was affected by his actions.

He said he asked himself every day why this was part of God’s plan and that all that he remembers is being “sucked from the back of the car” and landing on his knees beside his friends who were all in the same place on the road.

He added “I am deeply sorry and I would give my life to undo the damage if I could.”

Judge John Aylmer adjourned sentencing until April 20th.