Donegal inquest: Driver insists she was on right side of road

Eight men died after collision in Inishowen, Co Donegal five years ago

A car in which seven men died is taken away from the scene of a crash in Co Donegal. Photograph: Paul Faith/PA Wire.

A car in which seven men died is taken away from the scene of a crash in Co Donegal. Photograph: Paul Faith/PA Wire.

 

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.

Ann McGilloway was giving her evidence at the inquest into the road crash at Inishowen Coroner’s Court in Co Donegal on Thursday.

The 62-year-old woman from Clonmany was returning home from bingo when she clipped 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 11th, 2010, which resulted in Kelly being jailed for after pleading guilty to dangerous driving causing death.

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

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

He said Kelly had pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing the deaths of eight men and that his client should not be held responsible in any way.

“My client cannot and will not be exposed to some kind of attack that someone is going to spring a trap on a citizen and suggest on some level that she could be implicated in the death of eight people,” he said.

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

On several occasions, Mr Dorrian advised Mrs McGilloway not to answer questions and reminded the court that she was not facing prosecution.

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

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

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.”

The inquest resumes on Friday.