Friday 23 March 2018

Student pleads guilty over crash that killed mum and daughter

Geraldine Clancy and her daughter Louise Ann Clancy
Geraldine Clancy and her daughter Louise Ann Clancy

Olivia Kelleher

A young woman has pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing the deaths of a mother and daughter just before Christmas last year.

Geraldine Clancy (58) and her daughter Louise Ann Clancy (22) from Kilworth, Co Cork, drowned when their car ended up in a dyke following a crash near their home in north Cork.

Student Susan Gleeson (21) of Leitrim, Kilworth, appeared before Cork Circuit Criminal Court yesterday where she pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing the deaths of Geraldine and Louise Ann.

The two women were killed in a two-car collision on the Fermoy to Ballyduff road shortly before 11.30am on December 22, 2015.

The incident happened just a kilometre from the Clancy family farm. It is understood the pair were on their way to go Christmas shopping when the crash happened.

Cork farmer Noel Clancy, who lost his wife and daughter in the tragedy, was one of the first people to arrive at the scene.

Tragically, despite emergency services racing to the scene, both Geraldine and Louise Ann were pronounced dead before they could be taken to hospital.

In court yesterday, defence counsel Jim O'Mahony SC applied for an adjournment of the case, saying he was seeking a report from a psychiatrist.

But Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin denied his request, saying such a move could delay the case by months.

Mr O'Mahony said Gleeson hoped to have the matter finalised as quickly as possible as "the facts of this case are so sad for everybody involved, the circumstances so unfortunate".

Judge Ó Donnabháin suggested that Mr O'Mahony obtain a report from a GP in relation to Gleeson.

The case was adjourned for sentencing until November 21.

An inquest into the deaths of the mother and daughter heard that they died from acute cardio respiratory failure due to drowning.

The inquest was also told that the two women drowned after their car ploughed into a flooded ditch following a collision with another vehicle.

Louise Ann, who had autism, had defied her condition to study at University College Cork. She had arrived home only days before the tragedy from her Erasmus Scholarship placement at the University of Sussex in the UK to spend Christmas with her family.

Louise Ann was a prolific writer and published numerous blogs on living and working with autism.

Irish Independent

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