I was deeply disgusted yesterday when I heard about the "sentence" that Christopher McGinn received for the killing of Gerard Fearon and Stephen Shields.
McGinn got 4 years in a youth detention centre/Holiday camp.
In effect he will only serve 2 years which equates as 1 year for each life that he took.
Some of you may remember me discussing this issue at the time of Gerry's death.
Let's look at the facts of this case first.
Gerry was a 26 year old lad from Dromintee and Stephen was a 44 year old father of two from Cloghogue.
On the night in question McGinn, then 16, was driving his £200 Toyota Carina at excessive speeds and was drinking. He claimed that he only had two bottles of WKD but the medical tests proved that was a lie as his blood alcohol level was high.
McGinn admitted in court that he had been driving since he was 14, had no license or insurance and have never even taken formal driving lessons.
So after pleading guilty to two counts of dangerous driving causing death, two counts of causing grievous bodily injury by dangerous driving, driving with excess alcohol and driving without insurance he gets 4/2 years in a youth detention centre.
Justice Hart is an absolute disgrace to the position he serves and his actions in sentencing McGinn will do nothing to curb the culture of death driving in this country. Make no mistake, that's what McGinn is, a death driver!
A car is a very serious weapon, under the control of the wrong person and in the wrong conditions. I view his actions on that night as akin to carrying a loaded gun.
My heart goes out to the two families with the delivery of this disgraceful verdict. In particular the Fearon family as I know them so well, Gerard's mother is a cousin of my Ma.
After the verdict yesterday Gerry's father Peter described the sentence as an "insult"
"The sentence isn't going to act as any kind of deterrent to stop other young men getting behind the wheel of a car drunk"
"We didn't expect justice but we certainly didn't expect to be insulted by a sentence of four years' detention in a holiday camp"
The judicial system in the country is an absolute disgrace, at a time when some communities are under siege from death drivers and anti-social behaviour what message are they sending out?
The sooner we have accountable local control of policing and justice issues the better, maybe then we will be able to place justice back into the Criminal Justice System because what we have at the moment is a bastardised monster which serves the whims of criminals.
My continued sympathy will reside with Helen and Peter, Gerry's brothers and sisters and his girlfriend Aveen.
He was a much better man than the dross now serving a few years in a holiday camp.