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Taxi driver charged over sacristan death

By Liam Heylin

A taxi driver has been charged yesterday with careless driving, causing the death of a man aged 92, at Ballintemple village in February.

Bertie Byrne, aged 63, of Elderwood Drive, Boreenmanna Rd, Cork, was charged that on February 6 this year at Ballintemple, Blackrock Rd, Cork, he drove a car without due care and attention thereby causing the death of another person, namely Dan O’Connor.

At Cork District Court yesterday, Sergeant Dave O’Callaghan said Mr Byrne was formally arrested and charged with the offence.

Inspector Brian O’Donovan said the Director of Public Prosecutions has decided that the case should be dealt with by indictment at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

Insp O’Donovan applied for an adjournment of the case until September 19 to allow time for the preparation and service of a book of evidence.

Defence solicitor Frank Buttimer said the accused is a taxi driver and he applied to be appointed on free legal aid. Judge Olann Kelleher acceded to that application and said it is a very serious matter.

Once the book of evidence is served the case it will then be sent forward for a date to be fixed at Cork Circuit Criminal Court for a trial by judge and jury.

It was reported at the time that widower Dan O’Connor, from Blackrock, was fatally injured when crossing the road near Ballintemple Post Office.

Mr O’Connor, who served as sacristan at St Michael’s Church in Blackrock, was rushed by ambulance to Cork University Hospital but subsequently died.