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Man linked to car crash that killed garda is refused bail

A MAN who was injured in the fatal road accident in which Garda Gary McLoughlin lost his life was refused bail when he appeared in court yesterday on outstanding warrants.

The judge turned down the bail application for Martin McDermott (24), from Raphoe, Co Donegal, having heard that the accused man had previously evaded warrants and committed an offence while on bail.

Mr McDermott was on crutches and had one foot in plaster when he was brought before Judge Seamus Hughes at Letterkenny District Court.

He had been arrested on December 23 after being discharged from Letterkenny General Hospital where he was treated for injuries he suffered in a collision on December 13 in which Gda McLoughlin died.

He appeared before Carrick-on-Shannon District Court on that date on two outstanding bench warrants and was remanded in custody to Castlerea Prison.

Yesterday, he was arrested outside the court and charged with a number of new offences as well as public order and motoring offences on foot of the two outstanding warrants.

These included resisting arrest at Pearse Road, Letterkenny, on July 7, 2008, and being intoxicated at the same location on the same date.


He was also charged with driving with no insurance and drink driving at Tullyearl, Donegal Town, on July 31, 2008.

Two warrants were issued for his arrest in relation to these matters on September 3, 2008, and January 1, 2009, but were only executed on December 23.

Gda Patrick Geraghty told the court that Mr McDermott made no reply to any of the charges.

He was further charged with the theft of a cheque book at DM Recycling at Labbadish, Raphoe, on either March 6, 2008, or March 7, 2008, and the passing of five forged cheques at premises in Burnfoot and Creeslough in Co Donegal, Donegal Town, and two in Grange, Co Sligo. Each cheque was to the value of €490.

The DPP has directed that Mr McDermott be sent forward to the Circuit Court for trial on these charges.

He was further charged with damaging a car at Pearse Road in Letterkenny on March 7, in 2008.

Inspector David Kelly, of Buncrana garda station, told the court that numerous efforts had been made to locate Mr McDermott to execute the warrants but gardai discovered he had been living outside of the jurisdiction in Derry for the past 10 months.

Insp Kelly asked that Mr McDermott be remanded in custody due to his concern that the accused had been living outside of the jurisdiction and may fail to appear at future court hearings.

Solicitor for Mr McDermott, Don Mahoney, acknowledged that his client had "a somewhat unhappy history" but said that if certain conditions were imposed, his client would honour them and live at the family home in Castlegrove, Raphoe, in Donegal.

He indicated his client would be pleading not guilty to the charges.


He said Mr McDermott's sister was prepared to donate €5,000 -- a substantial portion of her personal savings -- towards his bail.

He pointed out that his client was also due to return to Letterkenny General Hospital next week for further treatment to his leg, which had pins in it following a recent incident.

After lengthy deliberation and following further garda evidence, the judge remanded Mr McDermott in continued custody until Friday, when a date for the next hearing will be fixed.

Judge Hughes refused Mr McDermott's request for bail on the basis of the garda evidence he had heard on the nature of the alleged offences and the fact that he had previously evaded warrants and had committed an offence while on bail.

Judge Hughes said he was satisfied the accused would get an early trial date.

Irish Independent