Four charges | 

Man appears in court as Claudine Keane's uncle fights for life after crash

Sports commentator Paudie Palmer remains n critical condition

Ralph RiegelIndependent.ie

A MAN has been charged in relation to a hit and run collision which left a popular Cork sports broadcaster and uncle of Claudine Keane fighting for his life in a Cork hospital.

Bohdan Bezverkhyi (33) appeared before a special sitting of Bandon District Court, in relation to a collision outside Innishannon last Thursday.

The two vehicle collision left Paudie Palmer (65), a respected Cork sports commentator, in a critical but stable condition in Cork University Hospital (CUH).

Bezverkhyi, with an address at Rigsdale House, Rigsdale, Ballinhassig, Co Cork appeared before Bandon District Court charged in relation to the alleged hit and run incident at Dunkereen Cross outside Innishannon at 9.50am on Thursday.

Detective Garda Manus O’Donnell offered the court evidence of arrest, caution and charge in relation to a total of four charges facing the defendant.

Bezverkhyi was charged with failing to offer assistance at the scene of a crash to the injured party, failing to report the incident, failing to keep his vehicle at the place of the occurrence for a reasonable period of time and failing to stop his vehicle.

Claudine Keane

Det Garda O’Donnell told Judge James McNulty that Bezverkhyi was arrested at 2.52pm on December 30.

The court was told that when the Ukrainian national was subsequently charged under caution, he expressed remorse to officers for what had occurred.

Det Garda O’Donnell said that various admissions were made by Mr Bezverkhyi at Bandon Garda Station.

“To the first charge he said: ‘I am guilty - I want to apologise’. (He subsequently said) ‘I am sorry, very sorry for what happened. I have no excuse. I am very sorry for my action’.”

Bezverkhyi was detained for questioning under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984.

Defence solicitor Myra Dineen said that her client had “expressed remorse” for what had occurred.

She said that she would make an application for bail when her client was next before the court.

Ms Dineen reserved her position in relation to bail until then and explained she will require further consultations with her client.

A translator assisted Bezverkhyi during the brief court sitting.

Ms Dineen said that her client had a 12 year work history in ventilation and air conditioning.

Judge McNulty granted free legal aid after the court heard that the accused was a man of limited means who was currently living in rented accommodation.

Gardai indicated that the State will oppose bail when Bezverkhyi appears before the next court sitting.

Judge McNulty remanded Bezverkhyi in custody until his next court appearance which will be Bandon District Court on January 5 next.

Mr Palmer, a hugely popular broadcaster in Cork for his sports reports on C103FM, is an uncle of Claudine Keane, a former model and wife of former Irish football international Robbie Keane.

Claudine's father, Denis, is a brother of Mr Palmer.

The family originally hailed from Templenoe in Kerry but Paudie Palmer has spent most of his broadcast career based in Cork.

Paudie Palmer is also Claudine's godfather.

He remains in a critical but stable condition in CUH after last Thursday morning's collision on the main Cork-Bandon road.

Claudine and her family extended their best wishes to Mr Palmer via an emotional social media post.

She urged people to pray for the recovery of those hurt in traffic collisions over Christmas including: "My lovely talented charismatic uncle Paudie Palmer from Cork to Dublin and everywhere in between. Love you uncle Paudie, my godfather! Life has so many unexpected turns please God this one turns out OK."

Over Christmas the Keane family also suffered a bereavement with Robbie's grandmother, Bernadette Keane, passing away in Dublin.

The footballer's mother, Anne, died in October after a brave battle against lung cancer.

Mr Keane hailed his late mother as "the rock of the family".


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