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Clonmany crash: 200 statements taken 08.12.11

MORE than 200 witness statements have been taken as part of the prosecution case against a man charged with dangerous driving causing the deaths of eight men in a crash last year, a court heard today.
The accused, Shaun Kelly (23) Hill Road, Ballymagan, Buncrana, Co Donegal, appeared at Buncrana District Court for service of the book of evidence.
However, the court was told that the book of evidence was not yet ready.
Mr Kelly, who was wearing a black jacket and grey trousers, is charged with dangerous driving causing the deaths of Hugh Friel (66), Urris, Clonmany; Mark McLaughlin (21) of Ballinahone, Fahan; Paul Doherty (19), of Ardagh, Ballyliffin; Ciaran Sweeney (19), of Ballyliffin; PJ McLaughlin (21), of Rockstown, Burnfoot; James McEleney (23), of Meenaduff, Clonmany; Eamon McDaid (22), of Ballymagan, Buncrana; and Damien McLaughlin (21), of Umricam, Buncrana.
The accident happened on July 11, 2010, at Meenaduff, Clonmany, as Mr Friel drove home alone from the parish bingo in Buncrana. The seven friends who died in the accident were allegedly all travelling in Mr Kelly's black VW Passat, registration number KHZ 7079.
Inspector David Murphy told the court this morning that the book of evidence was not yet ready but he expected it to be completed by January 12, 2012.
Defence solicitor Ciaran MacLochlainn said the book of evidence was "substantial" with more than 200 statements and numerous exhibits, photos and maps.
Mr MacLochlainn said he had informed Donegal State Solicitor, Ciaran Liddy, that he wanted to examine the exhibits in the case. He expected to do so in due course at a local Garda station. Mr MacLochlainn said he had also requested to see the photos and maps but he understood they were not yet ready for inspection. "I think February would be a better option," said Mr MacLochlainn.
Judge Paul Kelly said a date in February "sounds reasonable" given what was involved in the case. He remanded the defendant on continuing bail for service of the book of evidence on February 9, 2012. His bail terms as outlined at an earlier hearing included his own bond of 500 and an independent surety of 5,000 from his mother, Pauline Kelly.
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