06 Jul 2022

Jury to consider verdict today in case of Kildare truck driver accused of careless driving leading to death of cyclist


Jury to consider verdict today in case of Kildare truck driver accused of careless driving leading to death of cyclist

File photo

Jury members at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court will today, Monday, May 30, resume their considerations in the case in the trial of a Kildare truck driver accused of carelessness leading to the death of a cyclist.

David Morrissey (29), of Glendale Meadow, Leixlip, Co Kildare has pleaded not guilty to driving without due care and attention, thereby causing the death of 19-year-old cyclist Harry Boland from Leeson Park in Donnybrook, Dublin, at the junction of Greenfield Park and the Stillorgan Road near RTÉ, on the afternoon of April 18, 2018.

Summing up the case for the prosecution, Michael Hourigan BL said "it was the careless driving of Mr Morrissey that caused the unfortunate death of Mr Boland."

There was a "remarkable consistency" between the evidence of eyewitnesses Quentin Guillemot, then a civil engineering student from France attending UCD on placement, and Jason McMahon, a cyclist travelling immediately behind Mr Boland.

"The upshot of their evidence is that there is evidence to suggest there was contact between the truck and the bike, with tragic consequences," said Mr Hourigan

The cyclist was viewable if the mirrors on the truck were used, he said, adding: "It has to be the case that there was a failure on the part of Mr Morrissey."

The question as to whether Mr Boland was wearing a high-viz vest, or listening to music on his phone, did not "in some way negate the responsibility of the driver", he suggested.

Counsel for Mr Morrissey, Garnet Orange SC, said the law "doesn't impose impossible standards on drivers or anyone else". It was simply not possible for a truck driver to have a 360 degree view of everything around him, he said.

"When David Morrissey told the gardaí that he simply did not see [Mr Boland], that is actually the truth," said Mr Orange.

He asserted that Mr Boland had not stopped at the traffic lights.

"He [the cyclist] wasn't stationary, he didn't have his foot on the ground," said Mr Orange. "He was creeping forward and that manoeuvre cause him to fall on the ground . . . Did Mr Boland accidentally veer into the path [of the truck], did he accidentally bump his handlebars off the truck?" he asked.

He criticised the garda investigation of the accident, describing it as "haphazard". He referred to forensic investigator Garda John Culleton, who gave evidence via video link while on overseas United Nations police duty, as "saving the world by himself in Cyprus".

Gda Culleton had not measured the junction, could not say if Mr Boland was wearing a high-viz vest and did not include relevant photographs in his report, said Mr Orange, urging an acquittal.

The jury began considering its verdict after being sent out by Judge Elma Sheahan shortly after 3pm last Friday. They will resume their deliberations this morning, Monday.

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