Man pleads for forgiveness of victim's family

 

A 19-year-old man whose dangerous driving led to the death of his girlfriend, an All-Ireland winning women's GAA footballer, made a dramatic plea to her family for forgiveness at the inquest into her death yesterday.

David Reilly, from Ayle, Westport, Co Mayo, told the hearing into the death of Ms Aisling McGing (18), from Killawalla, Westport, that she was not his first friend to be killed on the roads.

The young bar manager, who was driving an uninsured car, which he bought for €500 on the day Aisling, his front seat passenger was killed, called on other young drivers to behave more responsibly.

"I pray every night that the young lads will slow down and that things will stop," Reilly told the inquest at Castlebar into Aisling's death which was conducted by the coroner for south Mayo, Mr John O'Dwyer.

The dead girl's parents and other members of her family sobbed gently as Reilly, who was released from prison yesterday to give evidence to the inquest, delivered his brief remarks.

Reilly was ordered to serve three months imprisonment by a Circuit Court Court judge last month on charges of driving without insurance and making a false declaration on a vehicle change of ownership form.

Following Reilly's statement, Mr O'Dwyer said he had to carry a burden no more than the victim's family did. Mr O'Dwyer commended him for his comments, stating that it was important he make them in public.

"If those young drivers out there who doll up their cars were here today to see the pain and grief they are causing they would slow down," the coroner said.

The inquest heard that Ms McGing died on July 19th last after Reilly crashed his Honda Civic car into another vehicle and a wall while overtaking near Ballyheane, Castlebar.

The couple were en route to a women's GAA match in McHale Park, Castlebar, at the time of the accident.

Reilly, who admitted not having insurance, told gardaí: "I lost control coming over the hill while overtaking".

A Garda PSV inspector, Sgt Joseph Maher, told the inquest that all the indications were that the vehicle was in good pre-accident condition, but it was "a complete wreck" afterwards.

An inquest jury returned a verdict of accidental death in accordance with the medical evidence that Ms McGing, a student, died in the casualty ward at Mayo General Hospital from cardio-respiratory collapse with shock, secondary to loss of blood.