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Garda speeding when he knocked down rugby star (23), inquest told

A CAR driven by an-off duty garda which struck a 23-year-old man was travelling above the speed limit at the time of the incident, an inquest has heard.

Talented rugby player Jack Whelan, of Beech Lodge, Kincora Grove, Clontarf, Dublin 3, was crossing the Clontarf Road on April 12, 2009, after getting out of a taxi when he was hit by a car driven by Garda Aidan Morgan shortly before 6.30am.

Whelan, who was returning home from a house party, died at the Mater Hospital of multiple injuries less than two hours later, an inquest heard yesterday.


Scenes-of-collision investigator, Garda Tony Kelly told Dublin City Coroner's Court that the car driven by Garda Morgan was travelling at no less than 56kph and was above the speed limit of 50kph.

Garda Kelly said the probable speed was between 65kph and 67kph and that the maximum speed was 75kph.

Garda Aidan Morgan said he was travelling at around 50kph.

The inquest heard the front left and right tyre treads of the Volkswagen Jetta driven by Garda Morgan were worn below the legal limit. Garda Michael Treacy, who examined the car, said one of the tyres was worn to such an extent that it was "dangerous".

Earlier he said it would only have an effect on the vehicle in wet conditions. The morning in question was dry and bright.

The Garda Ombudsman carried out a full investigation into the circumstances surrounding the collision and a file was sent to the DPP. No prosecutions were directed.

Garda Morgan told the inquest he would not think speed was a risk factor.

A jury returned a verdict of death by misadventure under the direction of coroner Dr Brian Farrell.