The family of a former Rose of Tralee contestant who suffered fatal injuries in a motorcycle crash six years ago have ‘a burning worry’ about gaps in the information of her whereabouts in the hours before her death, an inquest has heard.
Alison Moore, 25, of Killycoonagh, Newbliss, Co Monaghan, died on June 10, 2017, five days after she was injured in a collision involving a motor[1cycle in the early hours of a bank holiday Monday on the R183 Clones-Newbliss road.
Ms Moore, who competed in the selection process to represent Monaghan in the Rose of Tralee contest in 2011, was a pillion passenger on a motorcycle driven by her boyfriend, Ciarán Murphy.
Post-mortem results showed she died of catastrophic injuries resulting from the crash. A preliminary hearing of the inquest into Ms Moore’s death at Dublin District Coroner’s Court yesterday heard gardaí were still analysing CCTV footage and phone records in relation to the circumstances of the fatal accident.
Counsel for the victim’s family, Paul McMorrow BL, said Alison’s death and related inquest was ‘an extremely tragic situation that needs to be concluded as soon as reasonably possible’.
Mr McMorrow said the victim’s mother Frances and her three sisters, Joanna, Eleanor and Teresa had a ‘burning worry’ about gaps in the information, including her whereabouts for about four and a half hours before a passer-by came on the scene of the collision.
The barrister said they were not able to account for where she was between 2.20am and 6.42am when a milkman, Chris McBride, had been flagged down by Mr Murphy at the scene of the crash to call the emergency services.
The inquest heard criminal and civil proceedings in the case had already been concluded including a legal action against Mr Murphy and his motor insurers.
Murphy, 29, of Croghan, Annyalla, Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan, was also convicted by Monaghan Circuit Criminal Court of two offences relating to the collision.
He pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to keep a vehicle at or near the incident contrary to Section 106 of the Road Traffic Act 1961 as well as a separate charge of knowingly providing false information to gardaí contrary to Section 12 of the Criminal Law Act 1976.
Murphy was given a suspended two-year sentence for the Section 106 offence and ordered to carry out 240 hours of community service in lieu of a 12-month prison sentence for providing false information to gardaí.
Mr McMorrow stressed that in raising the family’s concerns they were not seeking ‘vengeance or revenge’. He pointed out that his clients had ‘a nagging doubt and worry’ about the time and circumstances in which Alison suffered her injuries. The barrister highlighted to the coroner, Aisling Gannon, that Mr McBride had observed that Ms Moore had dry and caked blood on the right side of her face at the time he came on the scene.
Mr McMorrow also noted that Ms Moore had been sitting with her back against the wall of an adjoining house at the time but there had been no indication that any earlier attempt had been made to seek help from its occupants.
He told the hearing that the victim’s sister, Teresa Moore, through her own efforts had established that the deceased had phoned a Chinese takeaway in Clones at 2.25am.
The inquest also heard that Mr Murphy had not been able to explain to gardaí how the collision had happened on a straight stretch of road. Ms Gannon acknowledged that concerns raised by Ms Moore’s family had not been addressed in earlier civil and criminal proceedings but expressed hope that the hearing of the full inquest could provide answers.
The coroner adjourned the hearing until March 27 when she will hear if there is a need to subpoena witnesses for the full hearing which is scheduled to take place in early May.