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'nothing to say' 74-year-old hit-and-run cab driver to be sentenced after psychiatrist's death


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Denis McSweeney said he had ‘nothing to say’ to our reporter Patrick O’Connell when
approached at his home in Cork

Denis McSweeney said he had ‘nothing to say’ to our reporter Patrick O’Connell when approached at his home in Cork

Denis McSweeney said he had ‘nothing to say’ to our reporter Patrick O’Connell when approached at his home in Cork

This is the 74-year-old 'hit-and-run' taxi driver who has pleaded guilty to four offences arising from the collision that caused the death of popular consultant psychiatrist Dr Martin Lawlor.

Denis McSweeney of Bellyphehane, Cork was scheduled to be sentenced on Tuesday on four counts relating to the collision that led to the death of father-of-three Dr Lawlor in December 2018.

However, proceedings were adjourned until February next after the court was informed a family member of the deceased was unable to give victim impact evidence due to a family bereavement.

Approached outside his home on Pouladuff Road in the city on Wednesday, McSweeney declined to comment on the accident or his impending sentencing hearing.

Fracture

"No, I've nothing to say," he responded when asked whether there was anything he wished to say.

The pensioner has already pleaded guilty to four charges relating to the fatal hit-and-run, including that he failed to give appropriate information to gardai, failed to keep the vehicle at or near the occurrence, failed to report an occurrence and failed to stop his vehicle after an occurrence.

Dr Lawlor, who was a native of Co Kerry, was employed as a consultant psychiatrist at Carrig Mór psychiatric intensive care unit at Shanakiel, Cork at the time of his death.

In October last year Cork Coroner's Court heard how Dr Lawlor had died of multiple catastrophic injuries as a result of the hit-and-run as he walked on the Airport Road in Cork city shortly after 5.30am in December 2018.

Det Garda Bríd Norris told the inquest that gardai received a call that a body was found on the road at 5.41am on December 15.

A garda patrol car went to the scene and found psychiatrist Dr Lawlor on the ground. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

A post mortem was carried out at the city morgue by Deputy State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis.

Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster gave evidence of the cause of death in the case on behalf of Dr Curtis.

She said that Dr Lawlor died of multiple catastrophic injuries including a laceration to the scalp, a skull fracture, contusional injuries to the brain and crush injuries to the abdomen, chest and pelvis which indicated that the body had been run over.

The official cause of death was multiple injuries consistent with a pedestrian being hit by a car. Alcohol was found in his system.

Both gardai and the coroner extended their sympathy to Dr Lawlor's family on their tragic loss.

Dr Lawlor was employed in Cork but was due to return home to his family in the north of England.

A respected forensic psychiatrist, he commuted from his job in Cork to his family home outside Manchester, where his wife and three children are based.

Sunday World


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