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Man banned from driving after leaving man with life-changing injuries

Paul Kelly didn’t see Daniel Ryan as he was pulling out onto an unlit roadway.

File photo of a steering wheel
File photo of a steering wheel
Image: Shutterstock/Alexandru Nika

A FATHER-OF-FIVE who ran over a man as he was pulling out of a driveway has been fined €3,000 and banned from driving for four years.

Paul Kelly (42) left Daniel Ryan (60) with life-changing injuries when he didn’t see him as he was pulling out onto an unlit roadway beside Dublin Airport.

Ryan had multiple fractures to his abdomen and limbs and also suffered a pulmonary embolism, which is a blockage to a blood vessel, in his lung.

He remained in hospital on complete rest for a number of weeks and can no longer participate in the leisurely pursuits he previously enjoyed like golf, long-distance cycling and hill walking. He also gave up his part-time job.

Kelly, a mechanic, of Shanliss Road, Santry, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to driving without due care and attention thereby causing serious bodily harm on 26 October 2016. He has no previous convictions.

Garda Philip Murray told Siobhán Ní Chúlacháin BL, prosecuting, that Ryan had dropped his child at a match at the Ballymun Kickhams GAA club and decided to go for a walk by the airport to pass the time.

The garda accepted that the road Ryan was walking on, Collinstown Lane, had no street lighting but said Ryan carried a torch with him. Ryan heard Kelly’s car coming towards him out of a driveway and shouted ‘stop’ but he was knocked down before the man drove over him.

Emergency services

Murray said Kelly felt the bump and immediately pulled over and contacted the emergency services. He remained at the scene until the gardaí arrived, passed a breath test and his car was taxed and insured.

Ryan was taken to hospital where he was in an induced coma for two days. His victim impact report stated that he suffers panic attacks, nightmares, flashbacks and has trouble sleeping since the accident.

He said he felt he had aged because of his injuries and consequential restricted mobility. He can no longer play golf, go for long cycles or go hill walking – the only three physical activities he regularly participated in.

Murray agreed with David Staunton BL, defending, that Kelly “cooperated fully from start to finish” and had expressed concern for Ryan. He accepted that Ryan was walking by the driveway and the manner in which Kelly drove out of the driveway didn’t give him the opportunity to see the pedestrian.

Murray further accepted that the lighting conditions on the road were a contributing factor and described them as “non-existent”.

‘Lapse in judgement’

Staunton said his client accepted that Ryan’s injuries were both significant and life-changing. He said it was “singular and momentary lapse of judgement”. “He failed to pay the necessary attention for a split second, which had a life-changing impact on the victim,” Staunton said.

Counsel accepted that his client “should have been aware of the lighting conditions when he pulled out” before he handed in a number of testimonials which described Kelly as otherwise “a conscientious and careful driver”.

Judge Melanie Greally said it was “a cautionary tale to all drivers that lapses of this nature are not tolerable” but accepted that Kelly behaved in a responsible way in the immediate aftermath and had since demonstrated the appropriate insight and remorse for his actions.

She accepted that the testimonials outlined that Kelly’s driving represented “an exceptional and momentary lapse of someone who is otherwise a careful and conscientious motorist”.

The judge said, due to the lighting conditions, Ryan was not a conspicuous person on the pathway at the the time of the collision but added that “the manner of Kelly’s driving required greater care and attention”.

Judge Greally gave Kelly 12 months to pay a €3,000 fine and disqualified him from driving for four years.

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Sonya McClean

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