Advertisement
If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on [email protected] for help. Thanks :)
Private profiles - please note that profiles marked as private will soon be public. This will facilitate moderation so mods can view users' warning histories. All of your posts across the site will appear on your profile page (including PI, RI). Groups posts will remain private except to users who have access to the same Groups as you. Thread here
Some important site news, please read here. Thanks!

No justice for dead garda and firefighter

  • 18-12-2009 5:20pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 2,263 ✭✭✭ foreign


    DPP withdraws charges over 2007 accident

    A 21-year-old Kerryman accused of causing the deaths of a Garda and a fire officer in Co Limerick over two years ago will not face a third trial.

    Limerick Circuit court was told today that the Director of Public Prosecutions had withdrawn charges against Niall Shannon, of Lenamore Ballylongford in Co Kerry.

    He had been charged with dangerous driving causing the deaths of 46-year-old Garda Brian Kelleher, and fireman Michael Liston in the early hours of February 25 2007.

    Both were working at an accident site at Barrygone in Askeaton when Shannon's car crashed into them killing them instantly.

    Juries at two previous court hearings had failed to agree a verdict. Niall Shannon is due back before the Circuit Court on 9 February in relation to a charge of driving with excess alcohol on the night of the fatal crash.

    Story

    I'm sure the families will be devestated with this news.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,160 ✭✭✭ TheNog


    It is no consolation for the families but I suppose if the DPP cannot prove its case in the first or second trial there is little point in proceeding with a third trial without new evidence.

    Heres hoping the Drunken Driving is more successful


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,961 Hooch


    I would state my opinion as bring back capital punishment, drag him into the streets and shoot him......but that isnt for this civil site.

    A totally weak and stupid judgement by the DPP. I dont care what the case is.....it must be decided by a jury......not the DPP. It should keep going until a verdict is obtained. The cost to the state should NOT be a factor.

    The killing of a Garda and a fireman going without punishment is a crime to society, their collegues and family.

    I am deeply disappointed and to tell you the truth, im seriously pissed off.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,184 ✭✭✭ sdanseo


    I would state my opinion as bring back capital punishment, drag him into the streets and shoot him......but that isnt for this civil site.

    A totally weak and stupid judgement by the DPP. I dont care what the case is.....it must be decided by a jury......not the DPP. It should keep going until a verdict is obtained. The cost to the state should NOT be a factor.

    The killing of a Garda and a fireman going without punishment is a crime to society, their collegues and family.

    I am deeply disappointed and to tell you the truth, im seriously pissed off.

    Granted you're pissed off, and I do honestly sympathise, but it would undermine the whole justice system that you guys work for every day if a trial went ahead where normally there isn't enough evidence.

    It's unfortunate in cases where it's bloody obvious that wrong has been done, but the law has to be seen to be equal for everyone. He'll get a fairly hefty ban on the alcohol, at least. Sad situation all round.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 417 ✭✭ the locust


    I would state my opinion as bring back capital punishment, drag him into the streets and shoot him......but that isnt for this civil site.

    A totally weak and stupid judgement by the DPP. I dont care what the case is.....it must be decided by a jury......not the DPP. It should keep going until a verdict is obtained. The cost to the state should NOT be a factor.

    The killing of a Garda and a fireman going without punishment is a crime to society, their collegues and family.

    I am deeply disappointed and to tell you the truth, im seriously pissed off.
    +1


  • Registered Users Posts: 355 ✭✭ Princess Zelda


    The thing is, with the way that the drunk driving cases are fought so streniously in the courts, hopefully he doesn't get a non-conviction on that too.

    I know solicitors have to defend people in these cases, but how do they sleep at night, knowing that their client has killed a Garda and Fireman, and has esentially got away with it?


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 4,961 Hooch


    The thing is, with the way that the drunk driving cases are fought so streniously in the courts, hopefully he doesn't get a non-conviction on that too.

    I know solicitors have to defend people in these cases, but how do they sleep at night, knowing that their client has killed a Garda and Fireman, and has esentially got away with it?

    On the first part, I believe the jury convicted him on drunken driving the first time.

    On the Solicitors/barristers I dont blame them one bit. Its their job and an important part of the criminal justice system........its the DPP.

    @sdonn.....they was enough evidence.....but a lot of smoke made by the defence. In my books the lad is not innocent. He has not been found innocent by a jury of his peers. They failed to make a decision in this case.

    (O and Innocent until proven guilty me arse.......he shouldnt be allowed to walk free)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,453 Delancey


    I had followed this case with some interest and after 2 hung juries it's not that surprising the DPP has decided to withdraw charges however unjust that seems to the families of the dead.
    Can the fatalities now be considered an ' aggravating ' factor when it comes to sentencing on the charge of Drink Driving ( assuming a Guilty verdict ) ? Is it possible the deaths may be viewed by the courts as a non-issue and the case could proceed as an ' ordinary ' Drink Driving ?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 125 ✭✭ jmccoy


    Absolutely sickening.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,632 ✭✭✭ ART6


    I don't remember much about this case now, but as I understand it the defendant's car hit the garda and fireman at sufficient speed to kill them both outright while he was driving it. As far as I am aware that has not been contested. That suggests to me two things -- he was perhaps driving with excessive speed and perhaps doing so recklessly. After all, the garda and the fireman were dealing with an emergency, so one could reasonably assume that there were garda cars and fire engines with lots of blue flashing lights, yet it would appear that the defendant either didn't see them (ie was blind and shouldn't be in a car) or didn't care. So I have to ask, what's to prove?

    Having lived in the UK for a number of years, I have seen so often the shambles of their DPP. They seemed to see cases as a sort game that they would only play if guaranteed a win. As usual, our approach seems to be to adopt the British methods and give them little thought.

    RIP to two good men.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,772 ✭✭✭ meathstevie


    I would state my opinion as bring back capital punishment, drag him into the streets and shoot him......but that isnt for this civil site.

    A totally weak and stupid judgement by the DPP. I dont care what the case is.....it must be decided by a jury......not the DPP. It should keep going until a verdict is obtained. The cost to the state should NOT be a factor.

    The killing of a Garda and a fireman going without punishment is a crime to society, their collegues and family.

    I am deeply disappointed and to tell you the truth, im seriously pissed off.

    Sorry nice guy but I have to disagree with you there. That course of action would be persecution and not prosecution. It is hard to see someone who's standard of driving might have been the cause of two deaths walking away from the courts without a blemish but the justice system can't be tailored on a per case basis. Doing that would eat away at the very foundation of society.


  • Advertisement
  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,496 Mr. Presentable


    1) I don't see why a jury is involved in a dangerous driving case.

    2) Surely the charge should have been manslaughter.

    3) I presume he will get the maximum at the drink driving case.

    4) I hope for his sake he never needs the emergency services.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,333 Zambia


    I cant see what is so hard as I assume the following facts are in evidence

    1: He was over the limit regarding drink. I assume he was tested at the accident site.

    2: He hit two people and killed them. I assume he was arrested at the accident site.

    If this is the case how hard can it be to convict a bloke of causing death by dangerous driving.

    Hope this gets picked up again


  • Registered Users Posts: 335 ✭✭ In my opinion


    Zambia232 wrote: »
    I cant see what is so hard as I assume the following facts are in evidence

    1: He was over the limit regarding drink. I assume he was tested at the accident site.

    2: He hit two people and killed them. I assume he was arrested at the accident site.

    If this is the case how hard can it be to convict a bloke of causing death by dangerous driving.

    Hope this gets picked up again

    It can be very difficult to prove causing death. A number of questions arise. How safe was the scene of the accident i.e was there notice sufficiently posted that there was an obstruction ahead, Was the scene illuminated i.e patrol car was it properly positioned with flashing lights a sufficient distance from the scene allowing motorists to be aware of accident and slow them down. How close to bend was scene. Why was the tender not placed to secure / protect those working on the existing RTA?

    These all have to be answered. They may not have been hence no decision on two previous counts.

    I sympathise will all concerned it's a shame.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 1,236 ✭✭✭ Bosco boy


    It can be very difficult to prove causing death. A number of questions arise. How safe was the scene of the accident i.e was there notice sufficiently posted that there was an obstruction ahead, Was the scene illuminated i.e patrol car was it properly positioned with flashing lights a sufficient distance from the scene allowing motorists to be aware of accident and slow them down. How close to bend was scene. Why was the tender not placed to secure / protect those working on the existing RTA?

    These all have to be answered. They may not have been hence no decision on two previous counts.

    I sympathise will all concerned it's a shame.

    This was probally the main arguement, but my experience is that you can set up a checkpoint or signpost and light up an accident scene with all the lights in the world and a fool will still manage to drive into it carelessly, Fool / Drink = Disaster. The jury failed badly and this is an injustice.


  • Registered Users Posts: 38,249 ✭✭✭✭ Guy:Incognito


    Should he be done for drunk driving it should be law that he is automatically guilty of anything else he did in the course of drink driving. , so should be at least something like maslaughter x 2 .


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,961 Hooch


    Sorry nice guy but I have to disagree with you there. That course of action would be persecution and not prosecution. It is hard to see someone who's standard of driving might have been the cause of two deaths walking away from the courts without a blemish but the justice system can't be tailored on a per case basis. Doing that would eat away at the very foundation of society.

    I think your missing my point steve. First trial.....hung jury. Second Trial.....hung jury. So off to the DPP to make a decision whether to go again:confused:. Of course it should go again. And again and again and again until a jury make a verdict. Only a jury can find someone guilty and only they should decide if he was guilty. By not re trying him the DPP has allowed him to walk free. Only a jury can do that.

    The DPP has failed the state in this case.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8 ✭✭✭ Orca73


    It would seem reading the various posts that the world we live in now, there is not much room given for common sense,"was the scene lit properly, was the accident on a bend", so on so forth surely common sense would dictate that if you pass a sign on the road saying "accident ahead" or "Caution" or you see flashing blue lights in the distance that you proceed with caution regardless until you pass the accident site, it must be a devastating time for the two families of those brave men who died in the service of doing their best so that others may be helped or saved.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,333 Zambia


    Must be the the Irish version of the three strikes and your out rule. Three strikes and we can be arsed pitching anymore you can walk...

    When people call the ES what is expected is a sense of order will emerge when they get there. Traffic will be controlled, cordons set up in general terms a solution to the problem will appear. For this to happen everyone has to be of the opinion that in these cases we listen and obey member's of the ES. All road users know that police on the scene or an ES vehicle present means slow down, proceed with care etc.

    This all hinges on a respect for the ES, should someone cross that line and plough through a checkpiont or incident causing loss of life to members of the ES. Well I agree with NGA they should be pursued till a jury has found them not guilty.

    I would be interested to know what has hung the Jury on the other two occassion's.


  • Registered Users Posts: 335 ✭✭ In my opinion


    Orca73 wrote: »
    It would seem reading the various posts that the world we live in now, there is not much room given for common sense,"was the scene lit properly, was the accident on a bend", so on so forth surely common sense would dictate that if you pass a sign on the road saying "accident ahead" or "Caution" or you see flashing blue lights in the distance that you proceed with caution regardless until you pass the accident site, it must be a devastating time for the two families of those brave men who died in the service of doing their best so that others may be helped or saved.

    Of course you should BUT were the signs in place, were the blue lights visable? Thats all I was asking.

    I believe common sense is not very common hence accidents and loss of life.

    Not comfortable with discussion as it may be perceived that I am pro the person who killed. I am not, I would be pro those who were killed.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,263 ✭✭✭ foreign


    Of course you should BUT were the signs in place, were the blue lights visable? Thats all I was asking.


    It occured in the early hours, so more than likely dark meaning you should see the blue lights from a good distance off. If you are not drunk.


  • Advertisement
  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Politics Moderators Posts: 14,280 Mod ✭✭✭✭ johnnyskeleton


    I know solicitors have to defend people in these cases, but how do they sleep at night, knowing that their client has killed a Garda and Fireman, and has esentially got away with it?

    Surely the sleepless nights come from knowing that your innocent client is banged up in chokey with his chamber pot?
    delacey42 wrote:
    Can the fatalities now be considered an ' aggravating ' factor when it comes to sentencing on the charge of Drink Driving ( assuming a Guilty verdict ) ?

    I believe so; they can be in a careless driving conviction so I don't see why not in a drink driving (DPP v. Dwyer).
    nipplenuts wrote:
    1) I don't see why a jury is involved in a dangerous driving case.

    Dangerous driving causing death, indictable only and carries 10 years.
    Stekelly wrote:
    Should he be done for drunk driving it should be law that he is automatically guilty of anything else he did in the course of drink driving

    How does this work? If he is automatically guilty then how do they know that he did it? It seems to me like saying that anyone who is convicted of drink driving will also be done for anything else the prosecution want to throw at him.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,998 ✭✭✭✭ AlekSmart


    Of course you should BUT were the signs in place, were the blue lights visable? Thats all I was asking.

    I understand that there is some ongoing discussion about this particular accident scene amongst Accident & Recovery Operators .

    Perhaps,as in-my-opinion asks,there are outstanding questions which the DPP had to take into account ?


    Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.

    Charles Mackay (1812-1889)



  • Registered Users Posts: 11,907 ✭✭✭✭ Kristopherus


    If it turns out to be the case that he is not prosecuted, then what is the chance of him being blacked like that unfortunate girl that Foley was convicted of attacking?


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators, Help & Feedback Category Moderators Posts: 8,883 CMod ✭✭✭✭ Shield


    This thread has developed into more of a Legal Discussion and is no longer suitable for this forum in its present form.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators, Help & Feedback Category Moderators Posts: 8,883 CMod ✭✭✭✭ Shield


    Just an update for those who may be interested:

    Drunk driver gets 20-year ban

    A DRUNK driver who drove into the scene of a road incident that claimed the lives of two emergency workers has been banned from driving for 20 years.

    Niall Shannon (21), from Lenamore, Ballylongford, Co Kerry, was convicted of driving with excess alcohol following an incident at Barrigone, Askeaton, Co Limerick, on February 25th, 2007, in which fireman Michael Liston and Garda Brian Kelleher were killed.

    The two men suffered multiple injuries after they were struck by Mr Shannon’s Audi car, which drove into the scene of an earlier incident involving an overturned car on the N69 Limerick to Tralee road.

    Last December the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) withdrew a charge against Mr Shannon of dangerous driving causing the deaths of the two men after two juries failed to agree on a verdict following lengthy trials in 2008 and 2009.

    During those trials Mr Shannon’s defence team argued that warning signs alerting motorists to the earlier incident were inadequate.

    The team also argued that the impact had occurred on an acute bend where there was no line of sight, and that the then 19-year-old was not driving above the speed limit.

    The jury in the initial trial convicted Mr Shannon of drink driving after hearing he was over 1½ times the legal alcohol limit on the night in question.

    Evidence was given he had a reading of 55 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath on the night of the fatal collision, and that the legal limit for driving is 35 micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath.

    Garda Brian Kelleher’s widow Marie Kelleher and Michael Liston’s widow Bernadette Liston were among those in court for yesterday’s sentencing hearing.

    Before imposing the road ban, Judge Carroll Moran was told that the penalties open to him were six months in jail, a fine of up to €2,500 and a minimum one-year driving disqualification.

    Judge Moran said he might have imposed a substantial jail sentence had Mr Shannon been convicted of the substantive charge of dangerous driving, but as there was no conviction on this charge to impose a custodial sentence would be to overturn the jury’s decision.

    The judge said to impose any fine of the amount open to him (€2,500) could be seen as putting a value on the lives of the two men, “and that would be offensive”.

    However, Judge Moran did feel he could impose a substantial driving disqualification, and he banned Mr Shannon from driving for 20 years and refused leave to appeal the decision.

    During the hearing, defence counsel Anthony Sammon SC expressed “grave concerns” that the deaths of the two emergency workers would be taken into account during the sentencing process.

    Mr Sammon said the blame for the deaths of the two men could not be laid at the feet of his client in any way because this had never been determined.

    He said his client does not accept he was responsible or the primary cause of the deaths of “those two good men”.

    Source


This discussion has been closed.
Advertisement