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Former Ireland rugby star will plead guilty, court told

A former Irish rugby star has indicated that he will plead guilty to criminal proceedings in relation to a road accident in which a 16-year-old boy was killed, a court heard yesterday.

Eddie Halvey of South Circular Road, Limerick, appeared in Nenagh Circuit Criminal Court yesterday.

The former Irish international has been charged with dangerous driving causing the death of 16-year-old Kevin Walsh from Sycamore Drive, Bruff, Co Limerick, on April 1, 2006, at Coole, Toomevara, Co Tipperary.

Representing the Director of Public Prosecutions in the Republic, barrister Frank Quirke said a plea of guilty "had been intimated" to the State.

Defence solicitor Noel O'Meara asked that the case be adjourned until next Tuesday.

Judge Thomas Teehan enquired as to whether Mr Halvey would face a new arraignment at the sitting, but was informed he would not face one yesterday. A victim impact statement from a member of the Walsh family will be heard at next week's hearing.

Mr Halvey, who was accompanied by family members, sat at the back of the courtroom during the brief hearing. He was previously charged with driving with excess alcohol on the same occasion before Nenagh District Court.

More than 20 members of the Walsh family, including Kevin's mother Kate, were at the hearing.

Kevin was travelling to the north of Ireland with his uncles, Vincent and Declan Tierney, to buy a car for Declan's hackney business when the accident occurred.

The group set out early to avoid heavy match traffic travelling from Limerick to Dublin for the Heineken Cup quarter-final between Munster and Perpignan. The teen died when their car was struck from behind by a SUV. Kevin was a keen Liverpool fan and played hurling and football.

Mr Halvey won eight Irish caps, the first of them in 1994 against France. He was also capped for Munster the same year and was a regular player for the next seven seasons.

He played in Munster's first Heineken Cup final defeat against Northampton at Twickenham in 2000.

He moved to London Irish in July 2000 and made 48 appearances for the side, scoring nine tries.

The highpoint of his career with the Exiles was when they won the Powergen English Cup for the first time in 2002.

Belfast Telegraph


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