Father of son who died in crash appealed to Minister for review

 

A judge said yesterday the Minister for Justice should be informed his name had been mentioned during a controversial court case. Mr Justice Kearns, in the High Court, suggested this should be done in case Mr O'Donoghue wished to address the court.

The Minister's name appeared in a letter written by Mr Anthony Moynihan snr, of Mallow, Co Cork, whose son died as a result of a road accident.

Mr Anthony Moynihan jnr died near Mallow on June 28th, 1998, when his car collided with a car driven by Ms Linda Eviston of Gortreagh, Fossa, Killarney, Co Kerry.

In proceedings before the court, Ms Eviston is seeking an order restraining the DPP from taking any further steps to prosecute her for dangerous driving.

Mr Patrick Horgan SC, for Ms Eviston, said she made a statement to gardai in which she had said she was returning from a visit to her sister in Kilkenny and got a left rear wheel puncture. Following a wheel change in Cashel, she was travelling through Mallow when her car suddenly "pulled itself" across to the right side of the road.

She saw a car coming towards her which swerved to her left. The cars collided. She discovered the left back wheel and tyre of her car were deflated.

In an affidavit, Ms Eviston said that, in early December 1998, her solicitor told her that gardai in Millstreet, Co Cork, said the DPP had decided not to prosecute her. On December 23rd, she was informed by gardai that, following representations, the DPP had reversed his earlier decision.

Mr Justice Kearns was told a letter written to the DPP by the dead man's father, dated December 16th, 1998, said his family had been "devastated" by the DPP's decision not to bring charges against Ms Eviston. The letter added: "I have personally contacted the Minister in relation to this matter in the hope that he can use his good office to assist us in this most distressing matter."

Mr Diarmaid McGuinness SC, for the DPP, said they were not hiding from the fact that Mr Moynihan's letter had provoked the review which led to a decision to prosecute.

Mr Justice Kearns said he was not drawing any inference from the letter but he was concerned about the very mention of the Minister's name in it.

The hearing continues today.