26 May 2022

Roscommon man jailed for dangerous driving causing death of Longford teenager

A Roscommon man has been jailed for five years with the final two suspended after he pleaded guilty at Longford Circuit Court to dangerous driving causing the death of Newtownforbes teenager Michael Warren (18) in the early hours of August 9, 2015.

Conor Hayes (23), New Rooskey, Rooskey, Co Roscommon also pleaded guilty to drink driving on the same date.

The court heard how the defendant had lost control of the car he was driving at Ballymakeegan, Longford on the date in question and as a result the car crashed throwing Michael Warren through an open back door and onto the ground.

Mr Warren died as a result of extensive head injuries.

Mr Hayes publicly apologised to the Warren family during the court hearing and said; "if I could take this back I would".

During his deliberations on the matter this morning in Longford Judge Keenan Johnson said that not only had the defendant driven dangerously, resulting in the fatal death of Michael Warren, but he also drove a defective vehicle while intoxicated.

"The driving of motor cars carries with it onerous responsibilities on the part of the driver and somebody who commits the offence of dangerous driving causing death while intoxicated has ignored those responsibilities and therefore must suffer the consequences of such responsibility," the Judge added.

"Michael Warren lost his life and the knock-on effect of this tragedy has been devastating for his parents, siblings and the extended Warren family."

Judge Johnson subsequently sentenced the defendant to five years, suspending the final two on the grounds that the defendant enter into a Bond of €500 to keep the peace and that following his release from prison he submit himself to supervision by the Probation Service for a period of 18 months.

The defendant was also disqualified from driving for 15 years. 

The Judge then ordered Mr Hayes to pay €500 following his release from prison to the hurling club of which the late Michael Warren was a member for the purposes of purchasing a perpetual trophy in his memory.

"I want the message to go out loud and clear that the wearing of seat belts saves lives - the saving of those lives will be a fitting tribute to Michael Warren Jr and will hopefully provide some solace for his grieving family," the Judge concluded.

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