Grieving mum of hit-and-run victim claims system of justice failed son
Published 26/04/2013 | 05:00
The grief-stricken mother of a young cyclist who was killed in a hit-and-run accident has lashed out at the justice system after the motorist acquitted of causing her son's death was ordered to pay just €500 for breaching his bail conditions.
"It's an insult to society. It's an insult to the people of Ireland," Lucia O'Farrell said outside court after Zigimantas Gridzuiska was ordered by High Court judge Justice Paul Carney to forfeit €500 of a €2,500 surety for breaching his bail conditions.
Mrs O'Farrell said justice has not been served and is demanding an inquiry into how the criminal justice system has dealt with the case.
Trainee barrister Shane O'Farrell (23), of Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan, died instantly after he was struck by a car on the N2 Dublin to Derry road between Carrickmacross and Castleblaney at Tollyvara Upper on August 2, 2011.
Lithuanian national Gridzuiska (39) of Ardross Avenue, Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan, was charged with dangerous driving causing death and five other driving charges. He pleaded not guilty at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to dangerous driving causing death and was acquitted by a jury due to lack of evidence.
He did plead guilty to three related charges, including failing to stop his car at the accident scene and failing to report the accident to gardai.
However, Gridzuiska, who had 42 previous convictions for theft, burglary and motoring offences in three jurisdictions, was ordered to leave the country by the judge who described him as "a massive liability who offers nothing to the community".
He was given an eight-month suspended sentence and ordered to leave the country within 21 days.
However, he was given a five-month jail sentence by another judge at the Carrickmacross District Court a week later after he was convicted on a number of insurance offences and has remained in Ireland ever since.
Due to the seriousness of the dangerous driving causing death charge, he was refused bail.
But he appealed and was granted bail on condition that he pay a €2,500 surety.
But after he was found guilty of breaching his bail conditions by not signing on, he was taken into custody.