Christopher Kiernan, who is 26, pleaded guilty as charged in October to second degree manslaughter in the death of Carlene Joseph.
Kiernan, an undocumented immigrant and Yonkers resident, was sentenced Tuesday.
He could have faced as much as fifteen years behind bars.
Kiernan, who did not possess a valid driver’s license, was driving on the evening of Monday, June 20, when he collided with Joseph, who was 36, and her husband, Emanual. The couple was walking home after shopping.
Carlene Joseph died from her injuries.
A subsequent test of Kiernan’s blood revealed that he had 0.23 of one percent by weight of alcohol in his blood, or five times the legal New York State limit.
Kiernan was initially charged with vehicular manslaughter but the charge was upgraded by Westchester District Attorney Jeanine Pirro following a grand jury hearing.
Kiernan can expect to be deported after serving his sentence.
Irish Northern Aid chairman Paul Doris has denied speculation that the long-standing U.S. fundraising organization has been told to stand down.
Reports circulating in New York in recent days have pointed to an end for a group that was set up to aid the families of Republican prisoners during the worst years of the troubles but which was more than once accused of being involved in more dubious activities, especially by the British government.
However, Noraid chairman Paul Doris told the Echo Tuesday that such reports were unfounded.
“It’s totally untrue,” the Philadelphia-based Doris said.
Doris said that too much had been read into the fact that Noraid would not be soon holding its annual dinner in New York, an event that in past years was held in late January.
“We will be holding a big testimonial dinner in April to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the hunger strikes,” Doris said.
He said that a number of meetings involving Noraid members would be held in the coming weeks with a view to staging the event.
Doris said reports that he had received a letter from Republican leaders in Ireland ordering a Noraid stand down was without foundation.
“There is no letter. Very little has changed. Indeed in the months ahead we will be working to put on more political pressure in the U.S.,” he said.
Doris said that one of the reasons for moving the group’s annual dinner out of January was because there had more than once been problems with attendance due to bad weather.
BH PHONE HOME!
It pays to phone out and touch someone – especially when you’re stuck in the baggage hold of a plane about to fly the Atlantic.
An Aer Lingus flight bound for New York last week had to delay its departure after a stray baggage handler was locked in the cargo hold.
The flight, EI 105, was heading for Kennedy when the unscheduled passenger called a colleague on his cell phone pleading for help.
He had tried banging on the hold door to attract attention, but without success.
The plane was taxiing to the runway when the unscheduled passenger made the call. The hold door on the Airbus A330 was opened and the handler was freed.
Aer Lingus North America spokesman Brian Murphy confirmed to the Irish Echo that the incident was being investigated.
Murphy said that the baggage hold was pressurized and heated because that’s where pets were carried so the baggage handler’s life would not have been at risk.
FRIENDS IN NEED
The Irish government will be rallying its friends in the U.S. in the next few months in an effort to inject new life into the stalled Northern Ireland political process.
Irish foreign minister Dermot Ahern said in a New Year statement that his government was embarking “on a concerted effort to end to direct rule and re-establish the Northern Ireland Assembly this year.”
To that end, Ahern said, the Irish Government would be stepping up contact with all political parties, with the British Government “and with our friends in the U.S. in the coming weeks.”
Ahern visited the U.S. on seven occasions last year and will likely return, if not before, then at least by St. Patrick’s Day.