The driver, Chloe McNamara, whose father was murdered when she was a baby, admitted to a series of offences following the incident in which all three people were left with significant injuries.
The 21-year-old was sentenced to seven years in prison this week for deliberately driving at the people as they came out of a fast-food restaurant.
The man, his wife and sister-in-law, who had their backs to McNamara’s red Audi A4 were thrown into the air by the impact and there was no sign of the vehicles brake lights coming on.
In the immediate aftermath there was chaos in the crowded Market Square area in Limerick city which hosts a number of popular nightspots.
The car, which had been bought for €500, was found 15 minutes later by gardaí near Moyross with blood clearly visible on the windscreen and the bonnet.
The three suffered a number of injuries including fractured vertebrae in the neck and back.
The injured man said in his victim impact statement: “This evil act changed mine and my family’s lives forever.”
One of the injured women said her life had changed forever physically and mentally all because of a “completely senseless act”.
The other woman spoke of the chaos on the night with people taking out their phones to record the aftermath.
“It was humiliating. It was surreal.”
Her injuries required her to wear a body brace and needed physiotherapy to help her to walk again while she struggled financially as a result of being out of work.
McNamara’s own tragic background emerged in court, where it was heard she came from a difficult and traumatic domestic background.
Although he was not named in court, Sunday World sources say her father was John O’Sullivan who was stabbed to death in 2001 at the age of 27.
His killer Johnny ‘Taz’ McNamara is still serving a life sentence in the Midlands Prison since his 2003 murder trial, which was the first to be held outside of Dublin.
When he was charged with murder he replied: “I did not mean to kill him.”
During the trial his sister Louise McNamara, who had been in an on-off relationship with O’Sullivan, gave evidence of running to her brother’s house after being attacked by O’Sullivan.
When he attacked her again near the house in Moyross her brother ran from the house and chased O’Sullivan, stabbing him 11 times in a killing that was caught on CCTV.
The video footage showed the accused man returning to where the victim lay bleeding to death shortly after the row to stab him one final time.
During her own recent court appearances, it emerged Chloe McNamara had 37 previous convictions and was on bail at the time of the Market Square incident on October 10, 2021.
She was arrested shortly after mowing down the trio, telling gardaí the man had ‘battered’ her windscreen, although there was no evidence of this.
She told a garda she had drunk two glasses of vodka and smoked a couple of joints that night.
“I was revving the car. I just wanted to get them out of the way. I was just vexed. I didn’t see a girl. Tell that girl I’m sorry. I meant to hit your man, not all of them...I just wanted to hurt him for battering my car. I didn’t mean to hit him that hard.”
In a letter of apology read out in court this week McNamara said she is “truly sorry” for actions which caused suffering to the victims.
“I feel this shame every day.”
Judge Tom O’Donnell said
the victims had sustained serious and significant injuries while McNamara’s actions were pre-meditated and reckless, describing them as “chilling.”
The judge imposed a prison sentence totalling nine years with the final two years suspended.