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Man denies dangerous driving causing death of Carrickmacross student

Story by Tom Kelly

Monday, 11th February, 2013 5:24pm

Man denies dangerous driving causing death of Carrickmacross student

A Lithuanian man has gone on trial accused of dangerous driving causing the death of a young Monaghan college student who died after his bicycle was hit by a car. Shane O'Farrell (23) died on August 2, 2011, when he was struck by the car on the N2 Dublin to Derry road between Carrickmacross and Castleblayney.

Zigimantas Gridzuiska (39) of Adrross Avenue, Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan admitted driving away after being involved in the fatal collision.

The accused entered guilty pleas to three other charges, all taking place at Tollyvara Upper, Carrickmacross on August 2, 2011. These charges are failing his car to stop at the scene of an accident, failing to keep the car near the scene of an accident and failing to report an accident to gardaí.

He has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to dangerous driving causing the death of Mr O'Farrell at Tollyvara Upper on August 2, 2011.

Opening the trial for the prosecution, Ronan Kennedy BL, said that the deceased was a "bright fellow" who had completed a degree in Trinity College Dublin and was visiting his family in Carrickmacross at the time of the fatal collision.

Mr O'Farrell was training for a triathlon race and that evening he set out on a 20km bike ride that would take him along a stretch of the N2 towards Castleblaney. At a certain point he turned the bike around to head back towards Carrickmacross.

Counsel said the jury will hear evidence that on the same night the accused had dropped some friends from Castleblaney to Monaghan and was driving back towards Carrickmacross.

The car and the bicycle collided at around 10.15pm, approximately half an hour after lighting up time that evening.

Mr Kennedy told the jury that the State's evidence is that the bike was struck from behind by the car driven by the accused and that this car didn't stop but drove on.

Mr O'Farrell's body was in the middle of the road when another driver came on it and stopped. A second motorist who had basic CPR tried to help the deceased but "sadly, it was too late," Mr Kennedy said.

He told the court the deceased had stopped breathing and was pronounced dead at the scene at 10.35pm.

Mr Kennedy said that the evidence would be that Mr O'Farrell's death was caused by multiple injuries as a result of being struck by a car. He said it was most probable that his death was instantaneous.

He said that the accused later presented himself to gardaí and admitted being the driver of a car involved in the collision.

The trial continues before Judge Patrick McCartan and a jury of eight men and four women.