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Firm fined €1m over crash which killed hurling star's wife

A HAULAGE firm has been fined €1m six years after a crash that left a hurling star's wife and a second mum dead.

Mother-of-one Vanessa McGarry (31) – the wife of former Kilkenny goalkeeper James McGarry – and Mary Lonergan (48), a mother of two, were killed after a lorry shed its load and crashed at Kilfane, Thomastown, Co Kilkenny, on July 19, 2007.

Vanessa's husband was supported by family members as he attended Wexford Circuit Criminal Court yesterday where the penalty was handed down to Nolan Transport.

Mr McGarry described in a victim impact statement how the haulage firm had shown "absolutely no respect" to the families of the dead women.

"Not once have they had the decency to apologise," he said, adding that the company had "never sympathised" with him on Vanessa's death. "It took them over five years to plead guilty," he said.

Vanessa's son Darragh and three others, Louise Lonergan, James Furlong and Gerard Corcoran, were also injured in the accident.

Yesterday, Judge Raymond Fullam said the accident was "clearly foreseeable". He said Nolan Transport had shown a "flagrant disregard" for safety and criticised the "dangerous manner in which the load was being transported" on its lorry.

The court heard how the truck and trailer carrying six steel coils weighing over 25 tonnes had not been properly secured. The trailer shed its load on a bend and it was seen "moving like a snake" before it struck two cars.

The lorry collided with the car driven by Vanessa while Ms Lonergan's car was struck by the shed load.

The Nolan Transport vehicle had been travelling at a speed of 52kph when it came to a bad bend before the collision.

The driver of the lorry, Rafal Luszacki, of Rosbercon Court, New Ross, Co Wexford, was fined and given a three-year driving ban arising from the incident.

Patricia Nolan, a director of Nolan Transport, had not undertaken a course in transport safety at the time of the crash. She has subsequently done so.

Judge Fullam imposed a fine of €1m on Nolan Transport which is to be paid in three instalments between now and the end of 2015.