Sunday 22 July 2018

Lisa Marie gives birth on one-year anniversary of day her dad was killed by man breaking red light

LIsa Marie Maher with her son Olli
LIsa Marie Maher with her son Olli
Melanie Finn

Melanie Finn

A Dublin woman left "devastated" by the death of her father - who was killed by a motorist who broke a red light - has appealed to people to slow down this Bank holiday weekend.

A total of 12 people have lost their lives on Irish roads in the past six days and gardai have appealed to anyone travelling this weekend to drive with care.

Lisa Marie pictured with her dad Eugene
Lisa Marie pictured with her dad Eugene

Mum-of-three Lisa Marie Maher has spoken of the heart-break that her family experienced after her beloved dad Eugene Maher (62) was killed at a pedestrian crossing in Clontarf.

She described as "bitter-sweet" the fact that she had her third baby, a little boy, on the one-year anniversary of his death on June 30, 2016.

She named him Ollie Eugene as a tribute to her dad.

"On July 2, a couple of days after I had the baby, we formally buried my dad's ashes and the whole family got together for a ceremony," she told the Herald.

"It just felt like, you say goodbye to one soul but you say hello to another."

Last month, Christopher Coleman (27) pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to dangerous driving causing the death of Mr Maher at the junction of Clontarf Road and the Howth Road.

Coleman, who has 15 previous convictions, also admitted leaving the scene of the crash and to driving without insurance. He was banned from driving at the time of the accident and never held a licence.

Coleman was jailed for two-and-a-half years for his crime.

Lisa Marie said her family was "absolutely shattered" with the outcome of the case and felt it should have been a longer sentence.

"I tried to be strong for my family but we just felt the justice system completely failed us on the day," she said.

"He sent us a letter before the court date apologising for what happened.

"It didn't mean anything to us. I didn't want to touch the letter. I was still too raw for me.

"I feel that a car or a mechanically-propelled vehicle is a deadly weapon and should be treated as such. I want to ask people to slow down, put away the phone and be more aware when they're driving."


She said her dad loved going down to Dollymount Strand on his bike from their home in Drumcondra and it was one of his favourite past-times.

Lisa-Marie, who runs the Opportunity Company with fiance Darren Foy, said he had been crossing at the same point for over 20 years.

"Even though he was on his bike, he wanted to be extra careful so he'd cross at the pedestrian crossing," he said.

"So it was ironic that the guy driving the car broke the lights at considerable speed. My dad didn't stand a chance."

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