Epileptic man who knocked down Donegal teenager is jailed

An epileptic Dublin man who knocked down a Donegal teenage pedestrian, leaving him completely dependent on his family has been jailed for three and a half years.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that doctors had warned 38 year old John Maguire not to drive for a year after his last epileptic seizure, just two months before he hit Josh Sweeney with his van.

Mr Sweeney, now aged 20, was crossing at a green pedestrian traffic light when he was knocked down.

Mr Maguire told gardaí he had no recollection of the collision as he was having an epileptic fit at the time.

John Maguire, of Kerlogue Road, Ringsend, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing serious harm to Josh Sweeney at Memorial Road, Dublin on March 18, 2017 and driving while suffering from a disease or mental disability which would render him a danger to the public.

In a victim impact statement, the 20 year old's mother described how her son struggles to move a single limb, is unable to communicate and cannot feed himself.

Garda Derek Grant told John Fitzgerald BL, prosecuting, that Mr Sweeney and his friend were returning to Letterkenny after attending an event in Dublin and were approaching traffic lights and upon the green light signalling Mr Sweeney stepped out but was hit by Maguire's van.

Mr Sweeney's friend later recalled checking the road before he stepped out and seeing the vehicle, which didn't appear to slow.

Judge Martin Nolan told Maguire that despite the clear mitigating circumstances in the case, he had a "serious moral culpability" by ignoring an obvious risk.

He was jailed for three and a half years and disqualified from driving for six years.