News Courts

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Man suffered brain injury in car crash which killed three people including pregnant woman - court hears

Tim Healy

Published 09/07/2014 | 20:33

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9/6/2014
Michael Tevlin, of Lisanisky, Kingscourt, Co. Cavan pictured outside the Four Courts yesterday(Wed) after the opening day of his High Court action for damages.Pic: Collins Courts
Michael Tevlin, of Lisanisky, Kingscourt, Co. Cavan pictured outside the Four Courts yesterday after the opening day of his High Court action for damages.Pic: Collins Courts
9/6/2014
Michael Tevlin, of Lisanisky, Kingscourt, Co. Cavan pictured outside the Four Courts yesterday(Wed) after the opening day of his High Court action for damages.Pic: Collins Courts
Michael Tevlin, of Lisanisky, Kingscourt, Co. Cavan pictured outside the Four Courts today after the opening day of his High Court action for damages.Pic: Collins Courts
Roisin Connolly Roisin (39) and her unborn daughter, named Catherine, were killed in the accident

A man suffered a brain injury in a car crash in which three other people died, including a pregnant teacher, the High Court heard.

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Michael Tevlin has no memory of the accident in which the car in which he was a back seat passenger veered across a road as the driver - with whom he had been drinking with earlier - attempted to overtake on the Carrickmacross Bypass, Co Monahgan on December 27, 2010.

The driver, Kevin McArdle, who was later charged with dangerous driving, ploughed into a car driven by Stephen Connolly whose 39-year old pregnant wife, Roisin was killed. Two 27-year old men who were also passengers in McArdle's car died in the accident.

Mr Tevlin, a plasterer from Lisankisky, Kingscourt, Co Cavan,  sued Mr McArdle, Longfield, Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan  and the Motor Inusrer's Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) as a result of the injuries he received in the accident.

Judgment was yesterday granted against McArdle in default of appearance.  He is serving a prison sentence for dangerous driving causing death.

Mr Tevlin's counsel, Patrick Keane, told the court his client admitted he had far too much to drink on the day of the accident and while he had no memory of the crash, he admitted he and the driver had a lot of drink.

Mr Keane said his client did not know McArdle's car was not insured and said there was an insurance disc on the vehicle.

The MIBI claims it is not liable in relation to the case claiming Mr Tevlin got voluntarily in the car with an uninsured driver and knowing that Mc Ardle should not have driven a vehicle following the consumption of alcohol.

It is claimed Mr Tevlin failed to have sufficient regard for his own safety and failed to prevent McArdle from driving.

Eddie Walsh SC, for the MIBI, said Mr Tevlin and McArdle had gone on a "drinking spree".  McArdle had consumed nine pints, nine shorts over about nine hours on December 27, 2010.

Counsel said six licensed premises had been visited by Tevlin and McArdle and the two men who died in the accident.

Counsel contended there was gross contributory negligence on behalf of Mr Tevlin and there was a level of disregard for his own safety and that of members of the public.

Last March, The Court of Criminal Appeal (CCA) found a  sentence of four years with one suspended imposed on Kevin McArdle by Monaghan Circuit Court in October 2011 for dangerous driving causing death was “unduly lenient”.

The Circuit Court, in its original sentenced, had suspended the final year of McArdle’s sentence and banned him from driving for 12 years.

The CCA said it was a “very serious case of dangerous driving”  which caused the death of three individuals.

It substituted the original penalty with a sentence of 6 years with the last 2 years suspended which meant McArdle had to serve a further year.

Mr Tevlin's case before Mr Justice Kevin Cross continues today.

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