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Tuesday 24 April 2018

Farmer convicted of careless driving in tractor after elderly tourist killed

Gordon Deegan

A FARMER has been convicted in connection with the death of a German tourist on a pedestrian crossing at one of Ireland's best-known tourist attractions.

A jury unanimously found John Boyce (57) of Moyhill, Cratloe, Co Clare, guilty of careless driving in his 1980-registered Massey Ferguson tractor at Bunratty on October 29, 2010.

The jury found Mr Boyce not guilty of the more serious charge of dangerous driving causing the death of Inge Schidt (70) following a three-day trial.

Eyewitness and tour guide Gerard Ryan told Ennis Circuit Court he saw Ms Schmidt go under the front two wheels of the tractor as she crossed the pedestrian crossing to enter the Bunratty Folk Park adjacent to Bunratty Castle.

Mr Ryan said: "I saw the tractor hit Ms Schmidt. She was on the pedestrian crossing when it happened."

Public Service Vehicle inspector Maurice Nolan explained that a front loader was attached to Mr Boyce's tractor and the windscreen wiper not working would have obstructed Mr Boyce's view.

The trial heard that it was raining at the time of the tragic accident.

Judge Gerald Keyes adjourned sentencing and remanded Mr Boyce on bail to next Tuesday's sitting of Ennis court.

Irish Independent

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