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Dale Fogarty.
Fatal Crash

Kilkenny man who stole car with vulnerable young person inside was on drugs when he crashed

The driver of the car that was crashed into said the collision will have an “everlasting effect” on him.

A MAN FROM Castlecomer, Co Kilkenny, who died in a car collision after he stole a vehicle he found with a young person in the rear seat had a significant amount of drugs and alcohol in his system when he crashed, an inquest heard yesterday. 

The 16-year-old girl, who has special needs, suffered life-changing injuries in the crash. 

Dale Fogarty, 38, from Castlecomer, stole the car on the 18 November 2022 from Green Street in Kilkenny town. 

The girl’s father had left her alone for a short space of time to pick something up from his place of work. 

Garda Frances Dunphy told Coroner Timothy Kiely’s court that Fogarty was well known to gardaí, and had addiction issues. 

Fogarty got into the car while the girl was still in it, and headed towards Ballyragget. Dunphy said he was driving “extremely dangerously” on the way, and that he overtook multiple cars on a particularly dangerous bend. 

Fogarty caused a head-on collision with another car carrying three people after he crossed onto the wrong side of the road while going round a sharp left-hand bend, which was clearly signposted at the time. 

A witness said that the girl’s father asked him if he had seen his car after it was gone at around 3.46 pm. He said that he participated in a search for CCTV footage to give to gardaí. In footage, they saw a person in black pants get into the Kia Sportage and drive away. 

John Brennan, the driver of the other car involved in the crash, spoke in court. He said that he was driving with his adult daughter Charlotte and her husband Graham as passengers.  

He was travelling at around 60 km/h, he said, when his daughter screamed. 

“Then it was just a bang. Charlotte called for me, I thought we were going to be dead. 

“We called for Graham, he didn’t answer, he just moaned, then a man was there and he told us where we were, he checked the outer car, we were in the front of the car for 30 minutes being assessed,” John said. 

John explained that when he went home from hospital he was on pain medication and anti-anxiety tablets. 

“This is all in my head all the time, it will have an ever-lasting effect on me, I am still going to physio,” he added.

Retired Garda Sergeant Pat Baldwin, who attended the scene, said that there were no mechanical defects present on either vehicle that appeared to have contributed to the collision taking place. 

Tom Bulger, a forensic collision investigator, said that John, Charlotte and Graham were all seriously injured, as well as the young girl in the back seat and the driver of the Kia Sportage. 

It could be determined that the Kia Sportage was travelling at a significantly higher speed, as it was a lighter car, but the Skoda that was driven into on its side of the road was pushed back a sizeable distance on the road. 

A toxicology report undertaken during Dale Fogarty’s post-mortem determined that he had multiple drugs in his system at the time of the crash including methadone, morphine, and diazepane, and a high level of alcohol.

The coroner said the collision and Fogarty’s death was “very avoidable”, but that there was nothing that could have stopped it from happening unless the driver, Fogarty, was more responsible. 

He offered his condolences to Fogarty’s family, and his best wishes to the family of the young girl, and to John Brennan and his family. 

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