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Wednesday 16 August 2017

Mum whose fiancé was killed by drunk-driver 'hasn't received a penny' in compensation following closure of Setanta

Attending the funeral of Brendan Donnolly which took place at St. Brendan' s Church, Birr, Co Offaly October 29, 2009, were, seated in wheelchairs Kate Flynn and Brendan' s girlfriend Laura Connelly ( C) holding hands with Brendan' s mother Christine.
Attending the funeral of Brendan Donnolly which took place at St. Brendan' s Church, Birr, Co Offaly October 29, 2009, were, seated in wheelchairs Kate Flynn and Brendan' s girlfriend Laura Connelly ( C) holding hands with Brendan' s mother Christine.
Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

A woman whose fiancé was killed in a car crash seven years ago has said she had to borrow a communion dress for her daughter because she can't afford to buy a new one.

Kate Flynn and her partner Lee Salkeld (26) were on their way to Cork airport when they were involved in a horrific car crash.

The driver of the other car, Anthony Long, had consumed 11 cans, 7 pints and a line of cocaine.

Lee and his friend Brendan Donnelly (24) were both killed in the crash.

Anthony Long was sentenced to five years in jail and Kate was awarded a large sum of money in compensation.

However, the car insurance company Setanta subsequently went out of business and Kate hasn't received a penny.

Christina Donnelly lost her son Brendan in a horrific head-on
collision with a drunk driver
Christina Donnelly lost her son Brendan in a horrific head-on collision with a drunk driver

Due to her severe injuries, she has been unable to return to work.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio 1's Liveline, Kate said if it weren't for her friends and family, both her and her daughter Sasha Lee would be homeless.

"I want money to be able to look after my daughter, I don't want it for extravagant things. It is about closure as well. I am constantly reliving it. I feel stuck in that car and I can't move on," she said.

"Basically what happened when they [Setanta] went bust was the courts said the Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) had to pay out the outstanding claims. The MIBI's argument was that they only pay out for uninsured drivers. Technically Anthony Long was insured...that was the one thing he did right."

The matter is now being argued before the Supreme Court, but Kate fears they will not receive any money and will have to continue struggling along.

"This is not something I will ever get over but I just want to be able to move on. I just want a normal life for myself and my daughter. I just want the life that her father would have given us," she said.

She also mentioned the day she told Sasha what happened to her dad.

"She asked me if the man [Anthony Long] had any kids and asked me if he said sorry. When I said he did say sorry and had kids, she told me to tell the guards so they could let him out.

"She said 'you need to tell the guard that he said sorry because his kids must miss their daddy the same way I miss my daddy. I'll see my daddy when he goes to heaven'".

When asked what plans the couple had before tragedy struck, Kate said: "We wanted another baby at the time. It was something we were discussing. I would have been married to Lee. He wanted six kids, I don't think we would have had that many but maybe we would have had another couple of kids. We would have been on our way to owning our own house by now, enjoying the little things".

While she admits she can barely get by financially, she is adamant that Sasha will still have an enjoyable communion day.

"She's wearing my niece's dress. She is wearing a second-hand dress. My siblings are going to help me financially with a venue for it, as a present. She will have an amazing day and her daddy will be there in spirit.

"He was the best daddy in the world. I know how proud he would be. He was just so proud to show her off and so proud that she was his".

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