Drunk driver who killed three says he'll never forgive himself
A MAN who caused a head-on crash that killed three people has said he hopes the grieving families can forgive him because he can't forgive himself.
Kevin McArdle (29) was three-and-a-half times over the legal alcohol limit and on the wrong side of the road when he ploughed into the car being driven by Stephen Connolly on the Carrickmacross bypass in Monaghan just days after Christmas last year.
Mr Connolly's wife Roisin (39) and their unborn daughter, named Catherine, were killed. Two friends travelling with McArdle -- Glen Curtis and Paul Carroll, both 27 -- also died.
McArdle, who pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing death, was handed a four-year jail sentence yesterday at Carrickmacross Circuit Court, with the final year suspended.
He was also disqualified from driving for 12 years.
McArdle, who still limps after suffering multiple injuries in the crash, made a brief statement in court to offer his sympathies to the families for "my crime".
"I am deeply sorry. I hope some day you can find it in your hearts to forgive me, as I cannot forgive myself," he said.
The Connollys were returning to Dublin after spending Christmas with family in Donegal when the horrific crash happened on December 27.
Superintendent Noel Cunningham of Carrickmacross garda station told the court that when McArdle was questioned by gardai, after the crash, he refused to name those in the car with him.
But he asked: "Am I going to be done for manslaughter? How many people have I killed?"
Supt Cunningham said gardai estimated McArdle had drunk nine pints of beer and five brandies before getting behind the wheel of his BMW, for which he had no insurance.
He overtook two people on the N2 heading northbound, before veering on to the wrong side of the road for no reason.
Supt Cunningham said a silver Opel Vectra driving in front of the Connollys was hit in the side and back after it managed to swerve at the last minute.
But the Connolly's Seat car was hit head-on.
Mr Connolly, who was not in court, suffered a broken leg. McArdle was also seriously injured, including a broken leg, two broken ribs, and a punctured lung .
Judge John O'Hagan said the fact that McArdle was driving a high-performance car without insurance, coupled with the drinking, smacked of "somebody who has utter contempt for what happens."