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Dangerous Driver sentenced to six years with two suspended for causing death

A SLOVAKIAN man whose driving was today described as “reckless” and showed “a propensity for risk taking”, has been sentenced to six years in prison, with the final two suspended, and has been banned from driving for 15 years.

Rene Miko (21) of Place de Plouzane in Kilrush pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing the death of Eugene McNamara on October 26, 2016 at Lifford, Gort Road, Ennis.

At his sentence hearing today, Monday, at Ennis Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Gerald Keys said it was the court’s duty to protect the public from illegal driving of this kind.

“A message must go out that anyone who drives in this manner, faces a serious sentence being imposed, and a significant ban on their licence. It must be seen as a deterrent to those who are seen to drive irresponsibility,” he said,

He said the actions of Miko had a devastating consequence on the McNamara family, and said left them now with “an empty chair at the table, which is a constant reminder to them of his demise”.

“This terrible void can never be filled,” he said.

The aggravating factors in this case he said was that Miko’s driving caused the death of an innocent pedestrian, he was driving at a speed of 120km in a 50km zone, he was driving recklessly while intoxicated and had limited experience, if any, of driving. Adding to this Miko took the car without the owner’s consent, he left the scene of the accident, had no licence.

In mitigation he said there was an early plea entered, remorse was expressed, the bereaved family were saved the trauma of a trial, the State were saved the cost of a trial, he cooperated at interview, has no previous convictions, and was only 19 at the time.

Judge Keys said he had difficulty in considering the sentence in this case, but felt the appropriate sentence was one of six years, and a 15 year driving disqualification. He said he was prepared to suspend two years, for a period of four years, if Miko entered a bond to keep the peace and be of good behaviour and not re-offend within that four year period.

Miko entered into this bond.

On charges of drink driving and no insurance, sentences of six months with two year driving bans were imposed.

Sympathies were extended by judge Keys to members of the McNamara family present in court.

About Carol Byrne

Carol Byrne is a reporter at The Clare Champion newspaper reporting on news in the East Clare area and the arts. She also covers the courts in County Clare and has received seven national awards for this coverage from the Law Society of Ireland and a National Lottery Local Ireland national media award for Best Community Story 2019. A Masters in Journalism graduate of NUI Galway, she also holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Limerick in Music and Media Studies, and a Higher Diploma in Irish Legal Studies. She began her career interning at The Limerick Leader and Clare FM, before taking up a full time post at The Clare Champion in 2006.

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