10 Aug 2022

Dangerous driving ban for ‘sulky racing’ fan from Killenaule

Thurles district court

Dangerous driving ban for ‘sulky racing’ fan from Killenaule

Sulky racing fan ended up in dangerous driving incident

A Killenaule driver who nearly crashed into other cars after a “sulky race” meeting was banned from driving for two years at Thurles District Court.

Garda Ben Jenkins told Judge Elizabeth MacGrath that gardaí were on patrol on November 8, 2020, when they came across a “sulky race” in the townland of Longfordpass, Tipperary.

There were about 20 vehicles in attendance. The vehicles followed the sulky race, except for one vehicle, driven by Keith O’Connor, of 15 Highfield, Cashel Road, Killenaule. This vehicle went along the right-hand side of the road, and came against oncoming traffic, at least two or three other cars.
Mr O’Connor’s vehicle was observed on the “wrong side of the road” and caused other vehicles to take action to avoid a collision.

“It was veering from side to side,” said Garda Jenkins. At one stage, mobile phones were observed filming the incident. Mr O’Connor’s vehicle turned in the direction of Lisheen Mine.

He came to a stop and produced his driving documents to gardaí, which were in order. Mr O’Connor was charged with three counts of dangerous driving, at Longfordpass North, Co Tipperary, at Leigh, Thurles, and Longfordpass East, but this was later reduced to two counts of dangerous driving in court. Mr O’Connor has no previous convictions.

Solicitor JJ Fitzgerald said Mr O’Connor, 31, is working on a CE scheme in Littleton “earning a modest amount of money. I have explained the consequences to him regarding his driving”.

Judge MacGrath noted the guilty plea and no previous convictions, and that Mr O’Connor “showed some level of remorse. It was a foolish thing to do. He has put his hands up”. Mr O’Connor was fined €250, and disqualified from driving for two years.

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