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Expert to assess Buncrana man’s fitness to plead in trial for causing deaths of eight people

The Volkswagen Passat in which the seven young people died.

The Volkswagen Passat in which the seven young people died. The eighth victim was driving another car.

THE case of a Buncrana man charged with dangerous driving causing the deaths of eight people is “dragging on too long” a judge said today.

Judge Keenan Johnson was speaking at Letterkenny Circuit Court where it was confirmed that an expert neuropsychologist has been appointed to asses whether or not Shaun Kelly (24) of Hill Road, is fit to stand trial.

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Kelly is charged with dangerous driving causing the deaths of eight men in a crash near Clonmany in July 2010.

At another court appearance at the end of January, the court was told that the prosecution had been given a psychological report on Mr Kelly and his barrister, Mr Peter Nolan, raised the issue of his fitness to stand trial.

At this morning’s hearing, prosecuting barrister, Ms Patricia McLaughlin, said the State had managed to secure the services of Mr Mark Mulrooney, Senior Neuropsychologist, Beaumont Hospital.

She said that Kelly had an appointment with Mr Mulrooney confirmed for April 26.

Judge Johnson said he was acutely aware of the sensitivities in this case noting that the fourth anniversary of the crash was coming up in July.

He suggested May 15, as a possible hearing date, however, Ms McLaughlin said that the investigating garda was getting married on May 9, and would not be available.

Judge Johnson said: “I want this case expedited as it has been dragging on for too long.”

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He said he would discuss the matter over lunch with his colleague, Judge John O’Hagan, before making a decision on a suitable hearing date.

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