Man banned after fatal Mayo crash in court after further collision

Paul Patrick Duffy failed to give breath test after driving without lights in Co Antrim

 Duffy appeared at Coleraine Magistrates Court on Monday where he pleaded guilty to charges of dangerous driving at Bridge Road, Dunloy, Co Antrim; failing to remain at the scene of an accident; and failing to report an accident.

Duffy appeared at Coleraine Magistrates Court on Monday where he pleaded guilty to charges of dangerous driving at Bridge Road, Dunloy, Co Antrim; failing to remain at the scene of an accident; and failing to report an accident.

 

A Co Antrim man who killed two women in a road accident in Mayo 12 years ago has now admitted a charge of dangerous driving after colliding with a vehicle as he drove without lights after midnight.

In 2005, Paul Patrick Duffy, now of Hillside Drive, Dunloy, was an unaccompanied learner driver when he killed a mother of eight and her aunt while overtaking on the N5 near Castlebar, Co Mayo. In 2006, he pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing the deaths of the two people at Gortnafolla, Turlough, Castlebar, on July 14, 2005.

He was given a suspended jail term and was banned from driving.

Banning him from driving for 10 years at the time Judge Raymond Groarke said Duffy, a father of two, was “criminally responsible” for the accident which killed Marian Maye (48), Kilkelly, Co Mayo, and her aunt, Kathleen Fitzpatrick (77), Lisacul, Castlerea, Co Roscommon, in that he did not maintain a proper lookout while overtaking.

That court heard he was on his way to Westport for an appointment with a chiropodist when the accident occurred and he had no recollection of what happened due to the injuries he had received.

On Monday, Duffy appeared at Coleraine Magistrates Court where he pleaded guilty to charges of dangerous driving at Bridge Road, Dunloy; failing to remain at the scene of an accident; and failing to report an accident. He also admitted failing to give a preliminary sample of breath and failing to provide a specimen of breath at Coleraine Police Station.

The prosecutor said at 12.05am on September 4th last a woman was driving on the Bellaghy Road, Dunloy, when she approached roadworks and with the path clear she proceeded but she then spotted a vehicle approaching with its lights off. She was forced to pull in and the other vehicle collided with the “offside” of her vehicle.

When the other vehicle did not stop she turned around and followed and saw it cross a T-junction, mount a kerb and collide with a fence.

The prosecutor said the woman reported the matter to police and when officers arrived Duffy refused to give a breath sample at the scene or at Coleraine Police Station but admitted having “one or two drinks in the pub”.

Duffy told police he couldn’t give samples due to “asthma”.

The prosecutor said the defendant told police the lights on his vehicle came on automatically and he believed they were on at the time.

District Judge Peter King said he wanted a pre-sentence report and adjourned the case until the end of October.