He'll be out in a year or two -- my girl has a headstone, says mum after crash sentence
THE mother of a young Meath woman killed in a car crash in Australia in 2007 has slammed the sentence that the driver received for his role in the smash.
Kiara Duncan (22), from Kentstown, and Colm Reilly (20) from Slane, in Co Meath, died when the car being driven by Slane man Eamonn Driver (31) crashed in Perth in October 2007.
He was driving the car which crossed the road, overturned on to its roof and crashed into an oncoming car driven by a 63-year-old woman, who emerged unscathed.
Eamonn Driver returned to Ireland in November 2007, before any charges were brought against him.
In 2009, he failed to appear in a Perth court to face charges, which were made in his absence, and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
An extradition order was granted last year by Minister for Justice Alan Shatter.
Driver had six passengers in the hatchback at the time of the crash and had been drinking beforehand.
He pleaded guilty to two counts of dangerous driving causing death.
He was jailed for almost three years on Wednesday but will be eligible for parole when half his sentence is served.
Kiara's mother Audrey reacted with shock to the length of the sentence.
"It's a kick in the teeth for me. He took two lives and he'll probably be out in a year-and-a-half," she said from her home.
"I didn't care what he got so long as justice was served, but this isn't justice. You can't justify that sentence," Audrey added.
"I have been living this for six years now, and I will live it for my life, but he'll be out in a year or two.
"He'll come home to the airport to a family waiting for him, but Kiara was met at the airport by a hearse," she added.
"I have become a fantastic liar since Kiara was taken from me.
"People ask me how I am and I say 'I'm grand, I'm fine, I'm okay', but I'm never any of those things. You wear a false face but inside you're broken," Audrey cried.
"Kiara was my life, my only child, my love. I'll never see her married. I'll never be called Nana or Granny," she said.
"Time doesn't heal anything. It makes it harder. I see Kiara's friends getting engaged, but all Kiara has is a headstone.
"You should never have to bury a child," Audrey added.
"I don't know this man (Eamonn Driver) by his name. To me he is 'the driver of the car', and he took my daughter's life and the life of poor Colm too."
In the Perth court, Judge Richard Keen said that Driver had displayed disregard for the safety of himself and others.
He was sentenced to two years and 50 weeks in prison.
By Conor Feehan