PRESS RELEASE ON BEHALF OF FAMILY OF JOHN JAMES IRELAND ON INQUEST FINDINGS
ISSUED 24TH NOVEMBER 2023
HARTE COYLE COLLINS, SOLICITORS & ADVOCATES
The family of John James Ireland who was killed in a road traffic collision on the Monagh Road on the 13th of September 2014 at 6.45pm welcomed the findings of the Coroner Mrs. Toal into his death at Belfast Laganside Courthouse today. The inquest started on Monday 20th November 2023 and heard evidence from eyewitnesses, investigating police and forensic and accident reconstruction experts. In particular the court heard from 2 road traffic collision experts, Damian Coll of FSNI and Colin Glynn of Denis Woods Associates in Dublin, both of whom provided expert analysis of the scene, the vehicles and the helmets and clothes of the 2 persons involved in the accident. A second person who was also on the bike had denied that he was driving it at the time of impact and maintained both previously to police and during his evidence to the coroner that he was the pillion passenger.
Over the past 9 years the Public Prosecution Service has twice decided not to prosecute the second person on the motorcycle in respect of the incident despite investigating police recommending prosecution.
The Coroner Mrs. Toal found today that John James Ireland was the pillion passenger on the motorcycle and not the driver; that the motorcycle was driving at 20 to 30 mph when it impacted with the car, a Vauxhall Astra and that one of the brakes on the motorbike was ineffective.
The mother of John Ireland said today;
“We have campaigned for justice for John for 9 years now. Our requests for prosecution of the person who we believe was responsible for the accident have been rejected twice by the PPS with no proper explanation. We very much welcome the factual findings of the coroner today on how the accident occurred which resulted in John’s death at the age of 20.
We now intend to ask the Director of the Public Prosecution Service to reopen this case and consider prosecuting the person or persons responsible for the accident so that justice can take its course.
We would like to thank the Coroner Mrs. Toal for her scrupulously objective analysis of the evidence this week.. We will continue to pursue this. We hope that as a result of the coroner’s findings, due process will now take place. “
Solicitor for the family, Patricia Coyle of Harte Coyle Collins, Solicitors & Advocates said today;
“It is a significant failing on the part of the Public Prosecution Service that the death of John Ireland at the age of 20 from a road traffic accident has never been the subject of a prosecution. The evidence, including the physical evidence, heard by the coroner this week was made available to the PPS a number of years ago. The coroner’s objective and clear findings today that, on the balance of probability, Mr Ireland was the pillion passenger and not the driver of the motorcycle now provides the family with a basis to re-open this case. It is to the family’s credit that they have tenaciously pursued the evidence and due process for 9 years to get to this point. We are instructed by our clients to now revert to the Public Prosecution Service to request a prosecution.”
Harte Coyle Collins,
9-15 Queen Street,