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27/07/2021

Man charged over fatal Drumlish crash says: 'I am extremely sorry'

Mother of four Claire Bann was tragically killed in a car accident outside Drumlish a year and a half ago

Claire Bann was killed in a traffic accident in Drumlish before Christmas

A man charged in connection to a fatal road accident in north Longford which claimed the life of a mother of four has told a court: “I am extremely sorry for the woman, especially her children.”

Claire Bann, from Dromod, Co Leitrim, was fatally injured when her car was involved in a collision with two other vehicles on the R198 at Cloonagh near Drumlish on November 30 2017.

Thirty-four-year-old Gary Crichton, of Little Brittan Street Hostel, Dublin 1 appeared before Judge Seamus Hughes at Longford District Court where details of arrest, charge and caution were read out by Garda Padraig McConnon.

He said Mr Crichton was arrested last Tuesday at Ronanstown Garda Station and brought back to Longford where he was later charged.

Garda McConnon said after cautioning Mr Crichton, the defendant replied: “I am extremely sorry for the woman, especially her children.”

He was later charged with a Section 53 offence of dangerous driving under the Road Traffic Act 1961.

Judge Hughes asked why it had taken the length of time it had to bring any charges against Mr Crichton.

Garda McConnon said one of the main reasons behind the delay was the fact Mr Crichton was homeless, leaving it difficult for gardaí to track his whereabouts.

In defence, solicitor Brid Mimnagh said her client, originally from Mullingar had co-operated with gardaí from the outset and was “very badly injured” himself as a result of the collision.

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