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Bus driver who pleaded guilty to careless driving over fatal accident fined €500

Olusola Omobamidele’s driving did not cause the death of Keith McGann and he could not be sentenced as if that was the case, a judge said.

File photo near where the accident happened on Constitution Hill in Dublin.
File photo near where the accident happened on Constitution Hill in Dublin.
Image: orla

A BUS DRIVER who pleaded guilty to careless driving over a collision in which a motorcyclist died has been fined €500.

Olusola Omobamidele’s driving did not cause the death of Keith McGann and he could not be sentenced as if that was the case, Judge Martin Nolan told the dead man’s family at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court today.

“For the people here who have borne the death of Mr McGann, this doesn’t seem like justice,” Judge Martin Nolan said.

He added that Omobamidele had admitted to careless driving “simpliciter”, which meant his driving did not cause the death of the 38-year-old motorcyclist.

Careless driving simpliciter does not carry a prison sentence, but a maximum fine of €5,000.

Omobamidele (51), of The Village, Porterstown, Dublin, pleaded guilty to one count of driving a bus without due care and attention at Constitution Hill in Dublin on 19 October 2014. He has no previous convictions.

Sergeant Michael Croke told Dean Kelly BL, prosecuting, that McGann was on his way home shortly after 11pm on the day in question when Omobamidele turned the corner at Constitution Hill on his way to the Phibsborough bus station.

Omobamidele took the corner “a little too soon” the court heard. McGann tried to move his motorbike from the fast lane to the slow lane, but collided with the front of the bus. He suffered massive head injuries and died a short time later in hospital.

Victim impact statement 

A lengthy victim impact statement by his widow, Cynthia McGann, was read out in court by counsel. She described how her world changed when her “generous and beautiful-hearted husband” – the father of their three young children – was killed.

She said that for a long time afterwards, her children kept asking, ‘When is daddy coming home?’ She said every family celebration was now tinged with grief at the loss of the “gentle giant” who was “larger than life” and well known in the local community.

She said the court case dragging on for five years had taken its toll on their family and she criticised Dublin Bus, who she said never contacted the family in any way to express their condolences.

Omobamidele wiped his eyes repeatedly as the victim impact statement was read out.

The court heard he was originally due to stand trial for a charge of careless driving causing death but the Director of Public Prosecutions accepted a plea to careless driving simpliciter.

Defence counsel, Cathal Ó Braonáin BL, said his client was distraught in the wake of McGann’s death and had not driven a vehicle since – either professionally or personally. “He felt profound sorrow at the loss of life,” Ó Braonáin said.

Omobamidele had been working for Dublin Bus for 12 years prior to the incident and was seeking promotion to inspector, but he left the company of his own accord shortly afterwards. He has not worked since.

He is a father of five children and his marriage has broken up in the years since the accident, the court heard. He has spent much of his time in Nigeria in recent years caring for his father, who died recently. He is hoping to look for work in the coming months.

Judge Nolan accepted Omobamidele was profoundly affected by the death of McGann. Handing down a €500 fine, he agreed that a driving disqualification was unnecessary, given the self-imposed ban Omobamidele had undertaken for the last five years.

The judge expressed his condolences to McGann’s widow, parents and extended family who were in court for the sentencing.

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Isabel Hayes

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