Man ‘effectively admitted’ causing crash that led to GAA commentator’s death, court told

Bohdan Bezverkhyi (33) denies charge of dangerous driving causing death of Paudie Palmer (65) in Cork in December 2022

A man who has pleaded not guilty to dangerous driving causing the death of GAA commentator Paudie Palmer in Co Cork allegedly sent text messages to third parties on the day of the incident where he admitted leaving the scene, a jury has heard.

Brendan Kelly BL, prosecuting, told a jury at Cork Circuit Criminal Court they would hear evidence that Bohdan Bezverkhyi (33) “effectively admitted” in his messages to others that “it (the incident) was his fault”.

Mr Kelly said the Ukrainian national also indicated to gardaí during interview that he had been involved in a collision and then “panicked”.

Mr Bezverkhyi, of Rigsdale House, Ballinhassig, denies dangerous driving causing the death of Mr Palmer at Dunkereen Cross, Innishannon on December 29th, 2022. Mr Palmer (65), a sports journalist from Co Kerry, was involved in GAA coverage for Cork radio stations 96FM and C103FM for decades.


Mr Kelly told Judge Jonathan Dunphy and the jury that the State will say Mr Bezverkhyi spent several hours in his car at a petrol station in Crossbarry because of a flat tyre on the morning of the incident.

He said the evidence will be that after the tyre was replaced with a speed restricted space saver, the accused drove towards Dunkereen at about 9.50am. He said Colette Downey, who lives near Dunkereen Cross, was in her kitchen and heard a “revving engine”. She left her house and saw Mr Palmer’s red Peugeot car up against an embankment.

The emergency services were called and Mr Palmer was taken to hospital, where he died on January 8th, 2023. Mr Kelly said the jurors would hear evidence from Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster the cause of death was traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries due to a road traffic collision.

He said it would be the State’s case that Mr Bezverkhyi breached a stop sign, resulting in a collision with Mr Palmer’s car. Debris from the grey BMW car driven by Mr Bezverkhyi was found at the scene, he said.

The trial heard evidence from Lorrinda Crowley, who works at Centra in the Crossbarry petrol station, who said she saw a silver BMW in the forecourt when she arrived for work on the day. She said a man came in and explained to her, using Google translate, that he had a problem with his tyre.

Garda Jacinta O’Leary told the trial she was informed that a small car was causing an obstruction on the forecourt in Crossbarry. She said the man standing next to the car spoke to her in “broken English”, saying “no drive, car broke”.

She asked him if he had been drinking and he said he had not. Garda O’Leary said she was not of the opinion that Mr Bezverkhyi was intoxicated in any way when she spoke to him. He was asked to move his car and was agreeable, and she and a colleague then left the scene.

The case continues.