Man found guilty of causing death of GAA commentator Paudie Palmer

Man found guilty of causing death of GAA commentator Paudie Palmer

Olivia Kelleher

A 33-year-old man has been found guilty of dangerous driving causing the death of GAA commentator Paudie Palmer.

Bohdan Bezverkhyi, who is a native of Ukraine but has an address at Rigsdale House, Ballinhassig, Co Cork, had denied dangerous driving causing the death of Mr Palmer at Dunkereen Cross, Innishannon, Cork on December 29th, 2022.

Mr Palmer (65), from Kenmare, Co Kerry, taught for 40 years at St Brogan’s College in Bandon, Co Cork, and was also a columnist for The Echo newspaper.


The father of two was hospitalised following the incident, but later died at Cork University Hospital on January 8th, 2023.

The jury of seven women and five men returned a unanimous guilty verdict on Thursday afternoon following almost six hours of deliberations.

Judge Jonathan Dunphy thanked the jury for their attention to detail.

Bezverkhyi was remanded in custody for sentencing on May 2nd.


Victim impact statements will be prepared in advance of the sentencing hearing, and a governor’s report has also been ordered.

Left the scene

Earlier this week the trial heard that Bezverkhyi admitted to his mother and friends in text messages just hours after the collision that he had “left the scene of a traffic accident drunk”.

Texts sent in Russian following the incident were translated into English and presented as evidence to the jury.

In one text, the accused said: “It is not funny to me. I will be jailed. Left the scene of a traffic accident. They will take me in now. They will come and get me.”

One friend asked if he had hit anyone, to which the accused replied: “I did.”

He asked another person for guidance via a text message. “I got in a to a car accident. Advise me what to do. I am in the wrong 100%. I drove off. I was drunk. There is no excuse for me. I am guilty of all.”

Bezverkhyi said via text that he was “blaming” himself, and when asked by a friend why he had not gone to the police, he replied “because I am not sober”.

Bezverkhyi also exchanged text messages with his mother, in which he said he would hand himself over to gardaí the following day.

His mother told him to put a “remnant of soap” in his pocket when he handed himself in to police.

In one of the texts he said that he had “left the scene of accident. Was pissed. Nevertheless, need to surrender to the garbage. I don’t see any other way out. I think this is the most correct option”.


The trial also heard evidence from Assistant State Pathologist, Dr Margaret Bolster, who told the jury that Mr Palmer was around 300 to 500 metres from his home when the collision occurred.

Dr Bolster said Mr Palmer suffered a traumatic brain injury, which included bleeding to his brain and bleeding to the membrane under his brain.

She said that he also sustained a traumatic axonal injury. This is a tearing of the brain’s long connecting nerve fibres which occurs when the brain is injured.

Dr Bolster indicated that the cause of death was “traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries with thoracic injuries due to a a road traffic collision”.

The State's case was that Bezverkhyi went through a stop sign just as Mr Palmer’s car was coming to the crossroads, causing it to spin and collide with the embankment, causing his death.