Death of cyclist was ‘a tragic accident’

A man accused of dangerous driving causing the death of a young Monaghan cyclist has being found not guilty by direction of the trial judge.

A man accused of dangerous driving causing the death of a young Monaghan cyclist has being found not guilty by direction of the trial judge.

Judge Patrick McCartan described the death of Shane O’Farrell on a summer’s night two years ago as a tragic accident which occurred because the deceased was not properly lit up.

The former Trinity college student died on August 2, 2011 after his bike was struck by a car on the N2 Dublin to Derry road between Carrickmacross and Castleblaney sometime after ten that evening.

Zigimantas Gridzuiska (39) of Adrross Avenue, Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan has admitted driving away from the scene of the accident after his car collided with a bike carrying Shane O’Farrell (23).

He pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to dangerous driving causing the death of Mr O’Farrell at Tollyvara Upper on August 2.

He has pleaded guilty to three related charges, namely failing to stop his car at the scene of this accident, failing to keep the car near the scene of this accident and failing to report the accident to gardai.

Judge McCartan remanded him in custody to appear again before him later this month for sentencing on the remaining charges.

On the fourth day of the trial he directed the jury to acquit the accused on the outstanding charge after telling them that there wasn’t enough evidence to support it.

He said that from what he had heard in court the deceased man was a “brilliant young man who died far too young in life”.

He asked the jurors to join him in extending their deepest sympathy and a deep sense of grief to his family.

In making his direction he said this was a “very tragic accident”. He said the accused had no chance to avoid the impact.

Before the application by defence counsel Conor Devally SC to have the jury discharged there was evidence that the accused had being driving within the speed limit at the time of the crash and that the deceased man was cycling outside the hard shoulder.