MAN ADMITS KILLING EIGHT BY DANGEROUS DRIVING

Shaun Kelly pleaded guilty at Letterkenny Circuit Court

Shaun Kelly pleaded guilty at Letterkenny Circuit Court

THE man charged with dangerous driving causing the deaths of eight people in the Republic just over four years ago has sensationally pleaded guilty.

The trial of Shaun Kelly was due to begin today with defence barrister Peter Nolan saying it could last more than one week.

Kelly, 25, of Hill Head, Buncrana appeared at Letterkenny Circuit Court as did the families of those who died in the crash outside Clonmany in July 2010.

Shaun Kelly at an earlier court hearing. Photo: North West Newspix

Shaun Kelly at an earlier court hearing. Photo: North West Newspix

Kelly had initially pleaded not guilty to the charge shortly before 11.00am.

A jury panel of six men and six woman was then sworn in.

However, when the case was due to commence, Mr Kelly asked to be re-arrainged and changed his plea to guilty.

Judge O’Hagan released Mr Kelly on his bail until 9 December, ordering all the appropriate medical reports be carried out on the accused.

Judge O’Hagan then addressed members of the families who had come to court.

He told them “Something distressing but positive has happened and I hope it gives you some closure on the affair.”

He then informed them of Kelly’s decision to plead guilty.

He then asked one member of each family to provide a victim impact statement to be presented at a future date.

He also asked each family to nominate one family member to read out that report.

The men who died in the crash in Clonmany, Co Donegal, on July 11th, 2010 were Hugh Friel (66), Urris, Clonmany, Eamon McDaid (22) of Ballymagan, Buncrana; Mark McLaughlin, (21) of Ballinahone, Fahan; Paul Doherty (19), of Ardagh, Ballyliffin; Ciaran Sweeney (19), of Ballyliffin; PJ McLaughlin (21), of Rockstown, Burnfoot; James McEleney (23), of Meenaduff, Clonmany and Damien McLaughlin (21), of Umricam, Buncrana.

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