Donegal Circuit Court is hearing an application on whether or not a 25-year-old man accused of dangerous driving causing eight deaths is fit to plead.

The two day hearing before Judge John O’Hagan consists mainly of evidence of a medical nature. The application under the Criminal Law Insanity Act 2006 will assess the suitability of Shaun Kelly of Hill Road, Ballymagann, Buncrana to stand trial for causing the deaths of eight Inishowen men outside Clonmany on July 11, 2010.

Letterkenny Circuit Court ruled last month that there was an urgent need to have an expert assigned by the State to ascertain if Kelly was fit to plead.

Several family members of the deceased are attending the hearing in Donegal Town. The men who died in the crash were: Hugh Friel (66), Urris, Clonmany; Eamon McDaid (22), Ballymagann, Buncrana; Mark McLaughlin (21), Ballynahone, Fahan; Paul Doherty (19), Ardagh, Ballyliffin; Ciaran Sweeney (19), Ballyliffin; PJ McLaughlin (21) Rockstown, Burtfoot; James McEleney (23) Meenaduff, Clonmany and Damien McLaughlin (21) Umricam, Buncrana. 

Judge O’Hagan imposed reporting restrictions on the matter, stating that any evidence that would influence the mind of a future juror should not be published. 

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