Sunday 15 December 2019

Garda death: jury can't reach verdict

Anita Guidera

A JURY in the trial of a 19-year-old youth charged with the manslaughter of a garda has failed to reach a verdict.

The State will decide by next Monday whether Jamie McGrenaghan, Gortnatraw, Kerrykeel, Co Donegal, will face retrial for the manslaughter of Garda Robbie McCallion (29) at Tara Court, Letterkenny, on March 26, 2009.

Yesterday, following a three-day trial at Letterkenny Circuit Court, the jury was unable to reach a majority verdict on the manslaughter charge.

But it unanimously found McGrenaghan guilty of endangering the lives of Gda Shane Lavelle and Gda Joanne Doherty on the same night.

The three gardai were responding to reports of a car being stolen from Tara Court housing estate when Gda McCallion was struck and critically injured by a car being driven by McGrenaghan. He died of head injuries less than two weeks later.

McGrenaghan had admitted that his dangerous driving caused the death of Gda McCallion. He also admitted to stealing a car that night.

If the State decides against a retrial he will be sentenced on those three charges next Wednesday week.

The court heard that McGrenaghan and another youth, Cathal Dunleavy (21), had been drinking earlier that night and had gone to look at a car that was for sale.

Last June, Cathal Dunleavy (21), of Meentagh, Glenvar, Kerrykeel, Co Donegal, was jailed for three years for unlawfully taking a car on the same night.

Dunleavy, who had a litany of previous convictions, had been banned from driving for 15 years and was on temporary release from prison on the night of the incident.

Irish Independent

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