Thursday 8 December 2016

Student (21) charged with dangerous driving causing deaths of mother and daughter

Published 22/07/2016 | 13:39

The funerals of mother Geraldine Clancy and daughter Louise Ann Clancy (Right: Susan Gleeson)
The funerals of mother Geraldine Clancy and daughter Louise Ann Clancy (Right: Susan Gleeson)

A student charged with dangerous driving causing the death of a mother and daughter last Christmas has been remanded for trial.

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Susan Gleeson (21) was remanded to appear before the next sitting of Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

She did not speak during the brief hearing at Fermoy District Court as she was served with the book of evidence by the State.

Inspector Eoin Healy told Judge Brian Sheridan the book of evidence was served and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) consented to a return for trial.

Judge Sheridan remanded Ms Gleeson to appear before the next sessions of Cork Circuit Court which begin on October 25.

Ms Gleeson of Kilworth, Co Cork faces a single charge of dangerous driving causing the death of Cork mother, Geraldine Clancy (58), and her daughter, Louise Ann (22), on December 22 last.

Judge Sheridan granted free legal aid for Ms Gleeson and allowed two counsels as well as an engineering report given that it involved a road traffic matter.

He remanded the student on her own bond of €500.

Geraldine and Louise Clancy (pictured) drowned in their car
Geraldine and Louise Clancy (pictured) drowned in their car

A Cork Coroner’s inquest last April heard that the mother and daughter both drowned after their car ploughed into a flooded ditch following a collision with another vehicle.

The accident occurred near Ballyderown on the Fermoy-Kilworth-Ballyduff Road. Coroner Dr Michael Kennedy agreed to adjourn the inquest under Section 25 (1) of the Coroners Act, 1962 after Gardaí said the proceedings were ongoing.

Cork farmer Noel Clancy, who lost his wife and daughter in the tragedy, was one of the first people to attend the accident scene shortly after 11am on December 22.

Mr Clancy attended the brief District Court hearing in Fermoy.

Tragic Geraldine Clancy, who died with her daughter Louise in a freak accident close to their home
Tragic Geraldine Clancy, who died with her daughter Louise in a freak accident close to their home

The accident occurred less than 1km from the Clancy family farm with the mother and daughter the only occupants of the family's Ford car.

Tragically, despite emergency services racing to the scene, both Geraldine and Louise Ann Clancy were pronounced dead before they could be rushed to hospital.

Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster conducted post mortem examinations on both at Cork University Hospital (CUH) on December 23.

Dr Bolster confirmed to the inquest that both mother and daughter died from acute cardio-respiratory failure due to drowning.

Heavy rainfall and flooding of the River Blackwater had left the dyke beside the Kilworth-Fermoy road full of water to a depth of almost 120cm (4ft).

Local fields were also heavily flooded.

Louise Ann, who had autism, had successfully defied her condition to study first at Loreto secondary school in Fermoy and then at University College Cork (UCC).

SAD: The funeral of Louise Clancy and her mother Geraldine at St Martin’s Church, Kilworth
SAD: The funeral of Louise Clancy and her mother Geraldine at St Martin’s Church, Kilworth

She had only arrived home days before the tragedy from her Erasmus Scholarship placement at the University of Sussex in the UK to spend Christmas with her family.

Louise Ann was a prolific writer and published numerous blogs on living and working with autism.

Special tributes were paid to Louise Ann earlier this year to mark World Autism Awareness Day.

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