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03 Dec 2021

Accused forced car across road in Kilkenny killing two people

A man has been found not guilty by reason of insanity of the manslaughter of a married couple in a Kilkenny road crash.

A man has been found not guilty by reason of insanity of the manslaughter of a married couple in a Kilkenny road crash.

Sean Dillon, Killerig, Co Carlow told Dr Paul O’Connell (Consultant Psychiatrist at the Central Mental Hospital) after the crash that it was a suicide attempt and that he wanted to die.

Kilkenny Circuit Court heard yesterday that on the evening of August 24, 2011 at 6.20pm, Dillon grabbed the steering wheel of the car driven by his sister and forced it across the road, hitting an oncoming car and killing two of the occupants, a retired couple and leaving the driver of the car, their daughter, with very serious injuries and also leaving his own sister badly injured.

Five weeks before the crash the accused stabbed himself 15 times in a suicide attempt and had life saving surgery. His actions on August 24 left two people dead and three others with lifelong injuries.

The jury of eight women and four men took 25 minutes to come to a decision.

Mr Dillon was charged with the double manslaughter of Tommy and Angela Kenneally, Templemore, Co Tipperary at Troyswood, Freshford Road, Kilkenny. He was also charged with causing serious harm to Emma Kenneally, daughter of the deceased who was driving her parents at the time of the accident. She worked as a primary school teacher in Durrow.

Prosecution barrister Brian O’Shea outlined that the tragic collision occurred close to the water works at Aut Even Hospital and the jury heard from three witnesses - Sergeant Con Dooley and Dr Brenda Wright (prosecution) and Dr Paul O’Connell (defence) from the Central Mental Hospital.

The medical evidence of the defence and prosecution was consistent.

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