A 29-year-old man, who denied causing the deaths of a Co Limerick couple by driving dangerously, has been given a five-year sentence and banned from driving for 30 years.
Michael Harty from St Mary's Terrace, Askeaton, Co Limerick, had been found guilty by a jury at Limerick Circuit Court of dangerous driving causing the deaths of 61-year-old Maurice Hartnett and his wife Margaret, 59, on the evening of 29 July, 2009.
The trial heard that Harty was driving on the wrong side of the road.
He was almost twice the legal alcohol limit when the crash occurred between Askeaton and Rathkeale.
There was evidence he had been drinking in two pubs in Co Limerick in the hours leading up to the crash.
Harty suffered severe internal injuries from the crash, and a blood sample was taken from him while he was being treated in hospital.
In a victim impact statement, Elizabeth Hartnett, one of the Hartnetts six children, said they were completely heartbroken and devastated by their parents' untimely and tragic deaths.
They had been very well known and very involved with their local community.
Sentencing Harty today, Judge Carroll Moran said he took a most serious view of this case.
He said the accused man was involved in a fatal crash involving two deaths, caused in part by his excessive consumption of alcohol, and he had a number of previous convictions for dangerous driving and speeding.