News Courts

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Drink-driver who caused three deaths sent back to jail

Ruaidhri Giblin

Published 12/03/2014 | 02:30

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Kevin McArdle, inset, Roisin Connolly
Kevin McArdle. Inset: Roisin Connolly
Roisin Connolly
Roisin Connolly

A DRINK-DRIVER who caused the deaths of three people in a head-on collision has been sent back to prison following a successful appeal of his sentence by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

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The Court of Criminal Appeal found that the sentence of four years, with one suspended, imposed on Kevin McArdle (31), of Longfield, Carrickmacross, at Monaghan Circuit Court in October 2011 for dangerous driving causing death, was "unduly lenient".

The 31-year-old had drunk almost three-and-a-half times the legal alcohol limit and was on the wrong side of the road when he drove his BMW headlong into a car driven by Stephen Connolly on the Carrickmacross to Ardee road on December 27, 2010.

Mr Connolly's wife Roisin (39) and their unborn child were killed. Glen Curtis and Paul Carroll, two 27-year-old friends who were passengers in McArdle's car, also died.

The final year of McArdle's sentence was suspended and he was banned from driving for 12 years. He was released from prison on August 29 last year, having voluntarily entered custody in May 2011.

Presiding judge Mr Justice Donal O'Donnell, along with Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan and Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy, said it was a "very serious case of dangerous driving" which caused the death of three individuals.

The court substituted the original sentence with a sentence of six years, with the last two years suspended on the same terms as set down by the Circuit Court.

Mr Justice O'Donnell said the sentence required a further period of incarceration of one year from yesterday's date including a disqualification period of 12 years from the date of the Circuit Court order.

NINE PINTS

The court had heard previously that McArdle had been drinking since 9.30am on the day of the collision and had drunk nine pints of beer and five brandies.

Mr Connolly's car was hit head-on by McArdle on the N2.

Counsel for the DPP, Michael Bowman BL, told the court that McArdle was driving without insurance at the time of the offence and had previous convictions for drink-driving.

Irish Independent

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