A man who drove his truck at a van containing family members he was feuding with, causing a three-way collision on a busy road, has been jailed for three years.
Martin Mongan (47) was embroiled in a feud with his cousins, which started when a number of family members engaged in violent disorder at a family funeral in Roscommon in 2017, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard.
In May 2018, Mongan was buying cigarettes at a petrol station on Newcastle Road, Lucan, when, upon emerging from the shop, he discovered two family members he was feuding with had driven up in their van and damaged his windscreen.
This van then left the garage, with Mongan pursuing it in his truck. CCTV footage shown in court showed his truck ramming into the white van just outside the petrol station, causing the van in turn to smash into a car.
The occupants of the van immediately fled the scene, as Mongan reversed his truck and smashed into the van again, causing it to go up onto an embankment.
The three occupants of the car, who had nothing to do with Mongan or his family members, drove a short distance in a bid to get away from the scene, before calling an ambulance. These people declined to make victim impact statements, Karl Finnegan BL, prosecuting, told the court.
Mongan, of Rock Road Mansions, Newcastle, Co Dublin, was found guilty by a jury of one count of endangerment and one count of dangerous driving at Newcastle Road, Lucan on May 6th, 2018, following a trial last October.
He has 13 previous convictions for road traffic offences. No other people were charged in relation to the incident.
Aidan McCarthy BL, defending, said his client became engaged in a family feud with cousins on his mother's side in the wake of an incident at a Roscommon funeral in 2017. Nine people were charged in the wake of this incident, the court heard.
Mongan has 10 children with his wife and is a loving and caring father, Mr McCarthy said. He has never spent time in custody and is “petrified” of going to jail, the court heard.
'Token of remorse'
Mr McCarthy said Mongan has recently been offered employment and is willing to save up €2,000 to give to the victims in the case as a token of his remorse. Judge Patricia Ryan noted this incident took place nearly five years ago and Mongan has had plenty of time before now to save money.
She asked why he didn't plead guilty, to which Mr McCarthy replied: “Because he was attacked.”
Sentencing him on Tuesday, Judge Ryan said she had to mark the seriousness of the incident with a custodial sentence.
“This is a very serious incident that occurred in broad daylight,” the judge said. She noted a number of aggravating factors, including the number of times Mongan drove his truck at the van and the effects it had on the injured parties in the car, who are said to have been affected by the incident.
The judge handed down a four-year sentence and suspended the final year on a number of conditions.