Eight deaths in ‘worst ever’ Inishowen crash

A 23-year-old Buncrana man has been charged with causing the death of eight people following a road traffic accident in Clonmany on 11th July last year.

Appearing in Buncrana District Court yesterday Shaun Kelly from 22 Hillroad, Ballymagan, Buncrana, was officially charged with dangerous driving causing the death of eight men.

Seven friends, who were travelling in the same car, were killed along with another man [Hughie Friel], in the worst road accident on record in the Republic.

They had all been together earlier watching Spain win the World Cup.

Those who died were Eamon McDaid, 21, of Ballymagan, Buncrana; PJ McLaughlin, 21, of Burnfoot; Ciaran Sweeney, 19, of Ballyliffin; James McEleney, 23, of Clonmany; Mark McLaughlin, 21, of Fahan; Paul Doherty, 19 of Ballyliffin; Damien McLaughlin, 21, of Buncrana and Hughie Friel, 66, of Urris. Shaun Kelly, the driver of the black VW Passet was the sole survivor of the crash.

Appearing for Kelly, solicitor Ciaran MacLochlainn said he was “very surprised” at the way the State had handled this case.

When requesting bail, Mr MacLochlainn said Kelly was not a flight risk as he had sustained serious injuries as a result of the crash.

Mr Kelly appeared in court wearing a grey jumper and was accompanied by his mother, Pauline.

Kelly was released on a bail bond of 500 euro to be given by an independent surety, and to remain under the supervision of his mother.

He was also ordered to surrender his passport and sign on three days a week at Buncrana Garda Station.

The case has then adjoured and the defendant was remanded to appear again at Buncrana District Court on December 8th.

In September last year Kelly was first interviewed by Gardai.

Gardai then sent a file to the Director of Public Prosecution in July this year.