Zigimantas Gridzuiska – a 39-year-old from Lithuania but with an address at Adross Avenue in Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan – was told by Judge Patrick McCartan that he would not have to serve his eight month prison sentence if he left Ireland within 21 days.
The victim’s mother, Lucia O’Farrell confronted Gridzuiska after the sentence yesterday at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court and told him: “You murdered my son, how dare you. There is no justice.”
The dead man was 23-year-old Shane O’Farrell (23) from Monaghan. He was killed on August 2nd, 2011, as he cycled along the N2 Dublin to Derry road between Carrickmacross and Castleblayney in Co Monaghan.
He had just completed his studies at Trinity College Dublin and had submitted his final thesis in the days before he was knocked down and killed. He was known as a talented musician and played in a band called Bicycle Republic and had plans to become a barrister. He was a triathlete and was out training on the night he was hit by Gridzuiska.
When Mr O’Farrell did not arrive home as planned, his family went looking for him and saw the flashing lights of the Garda car where he was found on the road.
The court was told that Gridzuiska was a convicted criminal with 49 previous convictions. Of these, nine were for road traffic incidents but others were for drugs offences, theft and handling stolen property.
He was given the suspended eight-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to failing to stop at the scene of a crash, failing to stay at the scene and failing to report the crash to gardaí. He also pleaded guilty to driving a defective vehicle. He was acquitted last month of dangerous driving.
Just weeks after he fatally injured Mr O’Farrell he was stopped by gardai and is currently charged with driving with no insurance on that occasion.
An examination of the scene of the crash showed no skid marks from Gridzuiska’s Rover 500. The car was driven on from the scene. Gridzuiska then drove it to a friend’s house before going home. He presented himself to gardai the next day. When his car was inspected by gardai they found extensive damage on the left side as well as a broken windscreen and damaged roof.
The court was told Gridzuiska could have been in no doubt he had hit somebody but that Mr O’Farrell was not adequately lit up.
Judge McCartan told Gridzuiska he was a “massive liability” to the community, adding it was unbelievable he had come to the attention of gardai again for a motoring matter just weeks after fatally hitting Mr O’Farrell. He sentenced him to eight months in jail but suspended it on condition he leave Ireland within 21 days and not return for 10 years. He was also banned from driving for 10 years.
There is an argument to be made that Judge McCartan is also a ‘massive liability’ to the community. I wonder why the judge found it ‘unbelievable’ that this guy could come to the attention to the Gardaí again, since this would not have happened if he was behind bars, where he obviously should be….then again, the taxpayer would be paying to have him there too…..i guess its enough to have to pay for one waster!
The Details of the upcoming Club Coaching day with Ciaran Power and Alan Heary have now been confirmed. It will be held in Ballybunion leisure centre on March 2nd at 10am Price: €20 for KCCC Members €30 for non Members. The day kicks off at 10am with a 2.5hr cycle with 2 groups, Alan and Ciaran will spend equal time with both groups Alan will cover Cornering and Speed while Ciaran will cover Climbing and Technique. Shower facilities are available for everyone in the centre after the cycle as well as some light refreshments. The group will then meet back at 1.30 for a chat with the lads where they will go through the techniques learned in the morning. The lads have also asked me to ask everyone if there is anything specific you would like included on the day.So if there is let me know and I’ll pass it on. Hope to see you all there
It looks like Sunday’s 75km Lacey Cup was the last to be run with all the categories mixing together on the road, based on the 224 riders which took part, 111 of which were A4. One would assume that next year will see the A4s’ left off last from the start line.
It is highly unlikely that since Cycling Ireland was represented at Sundays event, and the following correspondence was issued today, the two facts are unrelated.
Rule Change – Race Field Sizes Rule Affected – T3.2(a)
In races open to senior category riders including A4s, i.e., handicap races up to 80kms, the maximum number of riders permitted to start shall be 140. Where promoters accept in excess of 140 entries then a separate race for A4s must be run.
Both races may be on the same course at the same time, however the time gap between the start time for each event must be such that under normal circumstances the two races will not intermingle.
Pre-entry Advance Notice The Board of Cycling Ireland recommends that promoters who do not already operate a pre-entry system should adopt such a system at the earliest opportunity to facilitate the smooth operation of the above rule.
In accordance with the current Cycling Ireland Technical Regulations the above rule will be operational by 01st April. However in the interests of safety the Board recommend that where possible clubs promoting races prior to the 01st April should implement the spirit of this rule.
It is the Board’s intention that from the start of the 2014 season a system of on line pre-registration will be mandatory in all Cycling Ireland sanctioned events.
Cycling Ireland, 28th February 2013.
See full details for this years county leagues on the document below: