A 26-year-old woman who has admitted careless driving causing the death of her 17-year-old friend in Co Monaghan almost ten years ago has apologised, although she says she has no recollection of what happened.
Colleen McCann, of Drumacon, Castleblayney in Co Monaghan and Newry in Co Down, was deported from the US in 2017 to face charges in relation to the crash.
Ciaran McKenna, a minor footballer with Crossmaglen Rangers, was killed in the collision at Maghernakill, Castleblayney in the early hours of 30 July 2012.
In court today, his mother Mary McKenna said her family had been broken by the loss of Ciaran, who she said had promised to return early that night because he had work the following morning.
"Having lost a son we can fully understand the real heartache of loss. Something is missing that will never be replaced and will never be forgotten," Mrs McKenna said.
She said her son loved life and loved laughing and they had now spent nine years, two months and 15 days without him.
At the end of this month, she added, Ciaran should be celebrating his 27th birthday.
Monaghan Circuit Court heard how McCann was driving the car on the night of the crash, although she said she had no recollection of that.
Mr McKenna was a front-seat passenger.
The court was told that Ms McCann said she suffered from retrograde amnesia, although no medical evidence of that had been provided.
The car driven by her left the road and went into a gravelled area adjoining the roadway, where it launched into the air and hit a tree.
Forensic collision investigators carried out a detailed examination and found the car was travelling at around 72km/h.
Detective Garda Keiran Marks said there was no evidence of excessive speed.
However, he noted that such was the impact of the crash, the front wheel of the car was found over 70 metres away.
The car, which was owned by the deceased, was in good condition and had no defects, the court was told.
It also heard that Ms McCann had sustained a number of injuries in the collision, including a broken arm and a collapsed lung, and while she had no recollection of driving, an expert witness concluded that her bruising injuries were consistent with her being the driver of the car.
Professor Jack Crane, former state pathologist in Northern Ireland, said it was conclusive beyond doubt that she was in the driving seat at the time of the crash.
In a letter read to the court, Ms Ms Cann, a mother of one, said she wished she could tell the McKenna family what happened.
"Being a mother I couldn't imagine the loss of a child," the letter said.
Ms McCann, who the court heard is pregnant with her second child, said although it happened nine years ago and she still does not remember what happened, she hoped by pleading guilty that it will bring closure for the McKenna family.
Judge John Aylmer said he would consider the case and will sentence her on Wednesday.