News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties



A leading road safety campaigner has criticised the four year jail term given to a man convicted of the death of a Donegal woman and her unborn child.

Publican Kevin McArdle (29), Longfield, Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan, was handed down a four-year prison sentence with the final year suspended after pleading guilty to dangerous driving causing the death of Roisin Connolly, a Dublin-based teacher who was originally from Fanad - and two passengers in the BMW he was driving.

Mary Clinton of road safety group A-Ceart, said she was disgusted by last Tuesday’s verdict which she described as ridiculous. She said the sentence handed down should have been “much more severe”.

“I am gutted at the sentence. He will be out in two years. It is ridiculous for wiping out four lives. It is sending out the wrong message. Is life so unimportant today that you get three years for wiping out four lives? Justice has to be seen to be done and that is not justice.”

The Letterkenny woman said early release for good behaviour should be done away with. “If they had shown good behaviour they would not be in prison in the first place.”

Mrs Connolly had been driving back to her Dublin home with husband Stephen on December 27th, 2010, after visiting her family in Donegal. The collision occurred at 6.45pm at Moynaltybane on the main N2 Dublin-Derry Road, 2km from Carrickmacross.

The Seat Toledo the Connellys were driving in collided with McArdle’s BWM which was driving on the wrong side of the road after overtaking a number of vehicles at speed. She died later at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, in Drogheda. Despite the efforts of a team of surgeons at the hospital, her unborn baby girl, Catherine, also died.

McArdle had drunk nine pints of beer and five glasses of brandy before the crash and was three and a half times above the limit.
(Source: Donegal Democrat)


A body recovered from a lake in Co Down has been confirmed as that of missing pensioner Maurice Owens.

The 73-year-old had not been seen since leaving his home in Barcroft Park in Newry last Sunday morning.

His remains were found in Camlough Lake on Thursday.

Police said his death was not being treated as suspicious.

A PSNI spokesperson said the family of Mr Owens wished to express their gratitude to all those involved in the extensive search operations.


A couple with six children have avoided a jail term for taking part in a vicious and unprovoked assault on an army sergeant and his wife.

Wesley Condon (34) of Blackditch Road, Ballyfermot, Dublin admitted assault causing harm to Christopher Mahon and his wife Rose at Ballyfermot Road on May 1, 2010.

His partner, Michelle Kelly (38) of Blackditch Road, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to Rose Mahon.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that the victims, who are in their fifties, were on their way home from a night out when they were set upon and kicked and punched as they lay on the ground.

Mr Mahon, who has served in the Irish Defence Forces for 31 years, read an emotionally charged victim impact statement saying he had never witnessed such an attack before, despite serving during the Troubles and in Lebanon.

Garda John Griffin told the court that the couple were on their way home from a night out at around 2am when they heard Kelly, Condon and a third man, shouting abuse and gesturing at them from across the road.

Mr Mahon approached them and asked them why they were saying things about his wife.

He told Gardai that the next thing he knew he was on the ground and receiving "kicks and digs" in the head and ribs.

He looked across to his wife and saw that she was on the ground and that Michelle Kelly was kicking her in the face. He then saw Condon kicking his wife and punching her.

In his victim impact statement, he said that attack had left him and his wife "scarred".

Watching his wife being punched and kicked with "so much ferocity" while he lay on the ground unable to get to her will haunt him for the rest of his life, Mr Mahon said.

They couple received a three-year suspended sentence.
(Source: The Evening Herald)



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A man from County Fermanagh who was sexually abused by four brothers has spoken publicly for the first time.

Michael Connolly grew up in the village of Donagh and was targeted and abused by the McDermott brothers.