Saturday 16 December 2017

Father of hit and run driver is to go on trial

71-year-old charged with impeding the prosecution of his son who hit cyclist

A 71 year old North Corkman has been sent forward for trial by judge and jury on a charge of impeding the prosecution of his son on a charge of dangerous driving causing the death of a Kerry father of four.

Dan Joe Fitzgerald is charged with acting to impede the prosecution of his son Shane on a charge of dangerous driving causing the death of Paud O'Leary (42) on July 1, 2012.

Mr O'Leary was out for a training cycle at 5am on the day in question when he was struck and knocked off his bike at Scrahanfada near Gneeveguilla by a Toyota Landcruiser that failed to stop.

His body was later found by relatives searching for him and gardai began an investigation to try and identify the hit and run driver who fatally injured Mr O'Leary but failed to stop or report the matter.

Gardai never recovered the Toyota Landcruiser Shane Fitzgerald was driving that day.

In March 2015, Shane Fitzgerald, who had denied any involvement in the incident, was convicted of dangerous driving causing the death of Mr O'Leary after a trial at Tralee Circuit Criminal Court.

Fitzgerald was sentenced to six and a half years in jail for the offence by Judge Thomas O'Donnell who suspended the final 18 months of the jail sentence.

This Wednesday at Cork District Court, Insp Fergal Foley confirmed to Judge Olann Kelleher that the book of evidence had been served on Dan Joe Fitzgerald of Knockeen, Meelin, Newmarket, Co Cork.

Insp Foley said that the DPP had directed trial by indictment and Judge Kelleher sent Mr Fitzgerald forward for trial at Cork Circuit Criminal Court on February 16. However, it is anticipated that Daniel Fitzgerald's trial may not occur until later in the year.

The state alleges Mr Fitzgerald acted on a date unknown between July 1 and July 16, 2012 both inside and outside the state, to impede the prosecution of his son. Mr Fitzgerald has applied for free legal aid. A pensioner, he had worked as a machinery dealer.


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