Drink-drive hurler banned after crash that killed partner
A FATHER of one "haunted" by the car crash that killed his partner was convicted of drink-driving yesterday.
Michael Conway (28), a Kerry county hurler, was left "extremely traumatised" by the accident that "haunts every waking moment of his life", Listowel District Court was told.
Yesterday, Mr Conway admitted the offence on October 17 last year and was fined €400 and disqualified from driving for two years.
His partner, 27-year-old Louise McKenna, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The couple have a seven-year-old son, who now lives with his grandparents.
The court heard the child is visited every day by Conway.
A urine sample provided by him following the accident had a reading of 137 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 mls of urine.
The legal limit is 107 microgrammes. Inspector Ferghal Patwell told the court that Conway, a former Labour Party candidate in the local elections, was driving his car on the Lixnaw to Abbeydorney road when he veered left, left the road and hit a tree.
Four other people who were in the car at the time were taken to Kerry General Hospital, where they were treated for their injuries.
The accident happened at approximately 3.30am after the group had been out socialising and were on their way home.
Insp Patwell said the accused had been very co-operative when he was arrested at the scene and taken to Listowel garda station.
Padraig O'Connell, defendiing, said there had been no taxis available and his client decided to drive.
Conway claimed that he had not been speeding at the time and deficiencies in the road had contributed to the accident.
Mr O'Connell said Conway was a qualified carpenter but had not worked since the accident, which had caused him "severe trauma".
"It haunts every waking moment of his life," Mr O'Connell told the court.
"This is a man who lived for his partner and his child and a more decent man won't come before the court ever."
"The events of that night will live forever in his memory," the solicitor added.
Judge Mary O'Halloran disqualified Conway from driving for two years and ordered his licence be endorsed.