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Hitting cyclist “could have happened to any of us” says judge

Garda 1Gardai brought a prosecution against a man for hitting a cyclist with his car last July, but Judge Geoffrey Browne let the motorist go conviction free, explaining that it “could have happened to any of us”.

The Western People newspaper (behind paywall) quotes the judge as making the remarks when he was justifying his use of the Probation Act, which allows the motorist to escape conviction free.

The court report article did not mention if a fine was issued or if points were applied to the driver’s licence.

While driving out from a side road, the motorist hit a cyclist outside  Ballaghaderreen, Co Roscommon. The driver’s solicitor said that he did not see the cyclist before pulling out of a side road and “clipping” his bicycle and knocking the cyclist over. There was no mention of visibility issues and it was described as a  bright day.

The driver admitted responsibility at the scene, was insured and offered to buy the cyclist a new bicycle.

Meanwhile, the cyclist killed at the weekend outside a neighbouring town was named as 47-year-old Jarlath Kelly. He was killed in a collision between his bicycle and a car on the road to Ballaghaderreen outside Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo.

MORE: Mayo cyclist killed at the weekend is name is reader-funded journalism. That means it's funded by readers like you.

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Cian Ginty


  1. Good story, Cian, but one that we’ve seen repeatedly and sadly may see again. I only hope the cyclist was not badly injured. This ‘windscreen’ view of public spaces/roads is silly at the best of times, but downright dangerous when it normalises careless driving causing injury. A judge is in a position of extremely high
    responsibility and to excuse reckless injuring of another by careless use of a lethal machine is incomprehensible.

  2. He the driver basically broke the Law whether through absent mindedness or just ignorance,he just pulled out without looking to see if anyone was coming. Now if the opposite happened and it was a car that he hit would the Judge be so lenient especially if a lot of damage was done to the other car,I do not think s

  3. Well reported.

    Why is so difficult for judges to understand that somebody can be a perfectly upstanding citizen, of possibly impeccable moral character, and at the same time be a dreadfully incompetent driver who needs to be taken off the roads for their own safety and that of others? Coming out of a side-road without looking properly is not a minor error.

    Recommended reading for everybody with a role in the criminal justice system:


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