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Sunday 23 July 2017

Families face 'lonely Christmas' without lost sons

Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

TWO families wept yesterday as they revealed they now dread a dark, lonely Christmas without two teenagers killed in a high-speed car chase.

The relatives of CJ Dolan and Derry O'Callaghan criticised the six-year and four-year prison sentences handed down to the drivers of the two cars involved in the accident that cost the teenagers their lives.

"They'll be out after only a few years now, won't they? It's not nearly enough for two young lives," a member of the Dolan family sobbed outside Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

The court earlier heard the devastating impact the fatal crash on May 13 had on both families' lives.

Mr O'Callaghan's mother, Bernice, was too distressed to address the court so her victim impact statement was delivered by her daughter, Cathy.

Innocent

Mr O'Callaghan -- who had learning difficulties -- was described as "very innocent" but always smiling.

"When Derry died my house was left empty. My son's death left a permanent mark on me that will never change. I love him and I will miss him till the day I die," Cathy O'Callaghan wept.

CJ Dolan's mother, Noreen, said she was still mourning the loss of her "little baby".

"CJ was my prince, he was my son and he was my friend," she said. "He was a loveable rogue and he had a cheeky smile and I know that one day I will see him again because I know that CJ is in heaven," she sobbed.

"But the memory of my little baby in that car that night will live with me forever. It will be a hard and lonely Christmas now for me and my family. My heart is broken into little pieces and will never be mended."

CJ's grandfather, John Dolan, said the accident had cost him a daughter as well as his "lovely blue-eyed boy", stressing that the crash has had a devastating impact on his daughter, Noreen.

"We have not just lost a grandson but we have lost a daughter as well. If we ever get her back, it will be just a fraction of the person she once was."

He said his grandson, like Mr O'Callaghan, was not allied to any gang or part of any feud.

"He was just a little fella that got into a car one night and a few minutes later he was dead," he added.

Irish Independent

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