Thurles District Court
A driver from Mullinahone who did ‘donuts’ on the road near where an off-duty garda was residing, was banned from driving for two years at Thurles district court.
Garda Ann Marie Coogan told Judge Elizabeth MacGrath that on May 4, 2020, she was at home in the area of Trenchardstown, Tullaroan, Co Kilkenny, when she heard cars coming up the road to her house.
Garda Coogan took note of their colour and noticed that there had been reports of these two vehicles being observed doing “donuts” on the road. “I thought these were the two offending vehicles,” said garda Coogan.
About 50 meters up the road from her house, the wine coloured car “did donuts at the junction.” Garda Coogan took note of the registration numbers. Afterwards, garda Coogan noted that there were tyre marks on the ground “in a circle on the road.”
On May 6, garda Coogan called to the home of John O’Connell, of Clashbeg, Mullinahone.
“I spoke to him,” said garda Coogan. “At first he denied driving the vehicle, then he admitted it.” Garda Coogan made a demand for Mr O’Connell to produce his driving documents within 10 days. The area in question is rural, but is used by cyclists. It occurred during the covid lockdown, added garda Coogan.
Mr O’Connell was charged with dangerous driving. Solicitor Philip Egan said Mr O’Connell works as a mechanic.
He has one child and he lives at home with his parents. A disqualification will have a “serious impact on his profession,” said Mr Egan.
Judge MacGrath noted that Mr O’Connell has no previous convictions. Mr O’Connell was fined €250, and disqualified from driving for the mandatory period of two years.
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