Bus driver found not guilty but insane

Monday 09 June 2008 22.23
Peter Clarke - Believed gardaí were trying to kill him
Peter Clarke - Believed gardaí were trying to kill him

A 38-year-old bus driver has been found not guilty by reason of insanity of the manslaughter of a 62 year old woman when he went on the rampage in Dublin with his bus.

The court heard Peter Clarke, who was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, went on 'an odyssey of destruction' because he believed gardaí were trying to kill him.

He drove down the wrong side of the Naas Dual Carriageway, damaged around 25 cars, and rammed a number of garda vehicles.

One of the garda cars became attached to the front of the bus as Mr Clarke drove at speed down the road.

Maire Buckley pushed her daughter Angela to get her out of their car but could not get out herself. She was hit by the bus and dragged along underneath it.

Ms Buckley was a teacher who worked with underprivileged children in Dublin's north inner city. Her family said afterwards that her memory would always be cherished.

In a statement, her nephew James Buckley said she always put others before herself and even in her last moments was more concerned for the safety of her daughter than she was for herself.

Mr Buckley said it had been difficult to relive these painful events but he said they hoped that by doing so, they would gain closure and healing and wished nothing less for Mr Clarke.

Peter Clarke will now be detained in the Central Mental Hospital in Dundrum.