Banned driver behind mother's crash death back behind wheel
A painter who was involved in a car crash in which a mother-of-five was fatally injured on New Year's Eve, 2006 was found driving while disqualified after he was involved in a minor traffic accident.
Jason Kearney (45) had had one pint and was over the drink-driving limit.
Judge John Lindsay disqualified Kearney from driving for 15 years and ordered him to complete 240 hours of community service in lieu of three months in prison.
The defendant, of Elm Grove, Tallaght, admitted drink-driving as well as driving without insurance or a driving licence on the N81 in Tallaght last November 20.
Sgt Eithne Madden told Tallaght District Court that there had been a road traffic accident and both drivers were breath-alysed by gardai.
She said Kearney provided a breath specimen and it produced a reading of 12mgs of alcohol per 100mls of breath.
Sgt Madden said Kearney indicated at the scene that he did not have insurance and was disqualified from driving.
The court heard Kearney has 30 previous convictions, including one for dangerous driving causing death.
Mother-of-five Rose Martin (57) was a front-seat passenger in the car driven by her husband when a vehicle driven by Kearney crashed into it on New Year's Eve, 2006. She died in hospital 11 days later.
Kearney was also banned from driving for 10 years in 2013 for being drunk in charge of a vehicle.
Defence solicitor Michael Hennessy said Kearney fully co-operated with gardai and admitted at the scene that he was disqualified.
He asked the judge to distinguish this case, where both parties were breathalysed, from his previous "poor history".
Mr Hennessy said the defendant is a father-of-three and his partner is currently pregnant.
The solicitor added that Kearney had historical problems with alcohol, but in this case he had one pint and the alcohol reading was low.
Mr Hennessy said Kearney is trying to make a new life for himself away from Dundalk and his past acquaintances.
The court also heard Kearney has a good work history, working most recently as an industrial painter.