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'no justice' Family of car crash victim say 240 hour community service sentence handed to driver is 'an insult to our son's memory'

"How can this be? How can you get community service for killing someone?"

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Bernie and Fergus Murphy with daughter Andrea

Bernie and Fergus Murphy with daughter Andrea

Bernie and Fergus Murphy with daughter Andrea

The family of a young man, killed in an car crash caused by careless driving, say a sentence of 240 hours community service handed down to the driver is 'an insult to our son's memory.'

Calling on the Director of Public Prosecutions to appeal the sentence, Cormac Murphy's parents Fergus and Bernie and his sister Andrea said the non-custodial sentence has robbed them of 'closure, of a chance to grieve and of an ability to one day forgive driver Pete Rogers.'

"It feels like poor Cormac never existed in this world," mum Bernie told the Sunday World.

"That's what it feels like now … that his life meant nothing to nobody … only us!

Livid

"How can this be? How can you get community service for killing someone?"

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The late Cormac Murphy

The late Cormac Murphy

The late Cormac Murphy

Speaking of Rogers, Fergus said: "He was responsible as the driver. He was responsible for Cormac's death.

"I'm just livid at what happened. Whatever forgiveness there might have been is gone with that sentence today.

"There has been no justice. The court took a lot from us today. It took away our chance to be able to get on with life, the chance for us to one day say about Rogers … he's done his time and let him live his life.

"He's walked away with a slap on the wrist for taking a life. This can't be … there has to be justice.

"Cormac would have been 24 years old next Tuesday.

"But it's like he didn't matter. That's what today did to this family.

"It was like being kicked in the teeth, the whole thing is wrong.

"How are you supposed to move on and put it behind you when the courts won't put closure to it?

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Andrea Murphy with a cherished picture of her 
brother Cormac

Andrea Murphy with a cherished picture of her brother Cormac

Andrea Murphy with a cherished picture of her brother Cormac

"There was only one man that mattered in the court today, and it wasn't our son. The three of us will sit down at Christmas this year and Cormac's chair will be empty. And that's for the rest of our lives.

"I want to able to meet my garsún in heaven and tell him justice was done.

"He had no voice in that court, we were his voice and they kicked us in the teeth."

At the sentencing hearing, Rogers, who had pleaded guilty to careless driving causing Cormac's death, received a 240-hour community service order and an eight-year-driving ban in lieu of an 18-month custodial sentence.

The court heard Cormac had died as a result of a massive brain trauma sustained in the single vehicle car crash on the Claddagh Road at Rantavan in the early hours of May 14, 2017.

Rogers (21), from Ballinaclieve, Moynalty, Kells, Co. Meath, was the driver of the black Volkswagen Passat carrying Cormac and four others when he failed to negotiate a bend, careered through a fence and then struck a telephone pole at 5.22am.

Cavan Circuit Court heard the car continued travelling through the field before coming to a halt when entering a 10-foot drain at the opposite end. The distance between the crash verge and the drain was almost 25 metres.

Sgt Cein O'Brien noted in his subsequent report that Rogers had failed to "properly negotiate" the bend, and that there was "no evidence" the defendant had tried to brake to bring the car to a stop at any stage.

Evidence was given that Rogers and others involved in the crash had been in the Headfort Hotel's niteclub the evening before, and were witnessed on CCTV leaving the establishment, having attended the residents' bar also, at 4.56am.

Rogers' car was next picked up on CCTV pulling into Whitegate Fuels at 5.02am, some six minutes and 20 seconds later and 10 kilometres away.

When gardaí later drove the same route, it took nine minutes and forty seconds to complete the journey.

On Thursday, Judge John Aylmer, passing sentence, noted that there wasn't sufficient evidence for the DPP to secure a conviction for dangerous driving, hence the amended charge of careless driving causing death.

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