Man pleads guilty to killing childhood friend in Co Donegal hit and run

Paul Dooher ‘clipped’ Jason Haughey with car as he was traveling on a scooter

A Co Donegal motorist has pleaded guilty to killing his childhood friend who was traveling along a country road on a scooter.

Paul Dooher struck Jason Haughey outside Letterkenny in Co Donegal in the early hours of June 15th, 2020.

Dooher (28) , who was disqualified from driving at the time, fled the scene. He only found out later that the man he had killed was his friend Jason Haughey.

Dooher, from Culdoire, Gortlee, appeared at Letterkenny Circuit Court on Wednesday where he pleaded guilty to a number of related charges.


They include failing to report an accident to the Garda, driving without insurance, unauthorised taking of a vehicle and driving with out a license.

Members of the deceased man’s family were all in court.

The court heard Dooher had earlier had a row with his then girlfriend Sylvia Darby and took her car without her permission. He then drove to the beach with friends to “clear his head.”

At about 3am, he was driving along Windyhall when he “clipped” something that came out from behind a hedge.

Dooher had struck Mr Haughey (30), who was riding a three-wheeled scooter and who wearing dark clothing.

A passing milkman found the critically injured Mr Haughey on the roadway at about 4am. He was taken to Letterkenny University Hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Garda Kathriona Flynn told the court gardaí used CCTV to track the car. She said Dooher made full admissions to the incident later that day at Letterkenny Garda station.

A postmortem on Mr Haughey showed he suffered multiple traumatic injuries and that death would have been instantaneous.

Victim impact statements from Mr Haughey’s sister and his girlfriend were read out in court.

The court heard the accused has 20 previous convictions for a range of offences including dangerous driving, having no insurance, public order, assault and possession of a knife.

Judge John Aylmer said the case involved leaving somebody injured at the side of the road ignorant to the fact that they needed medical attention.

He added it was a serious case which required careful consideration and he adjourned the final sentencing until next Tuesday.