Woman charged with death almost twice alcohol limit

By Tanya Fowles

A woman whose vehicle struck and killed an expectant mother in Co Fermanagh — seriously injuring two other members of her family in the process — was twice the legal alcohol limit and was an unaccompanied learner driver.

Emma Josephine Feely (34) from Blackrock Park, Belleek is charged with causing the death of 28-year-old Valeria Amorim, who was six months pregnant, by dangerous driving.


She is further accused of causing grievous bodily harm to her mother and young daughter also by dangerous driving, as well as driving after consuming excess alcohol, having no driving licence, being an unaccompanied learner driver and having no L plates.

The incident occurred in the Boa Island Road area of Belleek on February 19.

Feely appeared by video-link at Dungannon Magistrates Court from police custody and was visibly distressed and spoke only to confirm her identity and that she understood the charges against her.

A police officer confirmed all charges could be connected and while members of the victims’ family also listened to proceedings by video-link, she explained Valeria and her mother and daughter were pedestrians when Feely’s car struck them from behind.

Valeria died at the scene while the other victims were badly injured.

When police arrived at the scene Feely admitted she had been drinking earlier in the day and was arrested.

While in custody she provided an evidential breath specimen which returned a reading of 63mcg of alcohol, almost double the legal limit.


Bail was not opposed although the officer voiced concerns around Feely returning to her home address which is close to the victims’ residence and there are “tensions in the area”.

A defence solicitor said the defendant: “Expresses her deep condolences and remorse to the family.”

She pointed out Feely has longstanding issues and in regards to not being permitted to reside in her own home.

“I’m very concerned about the effects of this on her mental and emotional health. Her mother is a support to her and that would be necessary at this time … I submit the address is significantly far enough away from the family and she will abide by any bail conditions the court may impose.”

Asked by District Judge Michael Ranaghan if there is evidence of any risk to Feely in her home area, the officer said police have conducted an assessment and while “Tensions are high at present but no threat directly at present.”

The judge stated “Not surprisingly the defendant is in a very distressed state and I believe she can be released on bail but it must be to an address well away from the home of the victims.”

Feely is banned from contacting a passenger who was travelling with her at the time of the collision and is considered an eyewitness.

To read more on this story see this week’s Fermanagh Herald. Can’t get to the shop to collect your copy? No problem! You can download a copy straight to your device by following this link… Subscribe to current edition

To read more.. Subscribe to current edition

Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere


The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 28 Belmore Street, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, BT74 6AA