10 Aug 2022

Drug driver crashed into bollard at TÚS LIT Thurles roundabout

Young man had consumed cannabis with friends, heard Thurles District Court

Drug driver crashed into  bollard at  TÚS LIT Thurles  roundabout

Thurles District Court

A young man who crashed into a bollard at a roundabout outside Thurles LIT Institute, had consumed cannabis with friends, heard Thurles District Court.

Garda James Kelleher was on mobile patrol on July 9, 2020, when he observed a motor vehicle cross through a crossroads at speed.

Gardaí had cause to follow this vehicle, which was being driven “in a very erratic manner,” said Sgt Thomas Hanrahan.

The car then crashed at the Tipperary Institute Roundabout, Thurles. Gardaí spoke to the driver, Darryl Bergin, of Clonoghill, Abbeyleix, Co Laois.

Mr Bergin was arrested and cautioned, and underwent a roadside drugs test which showed the presence of cannabis in his system. He was taken to a garda station where he provided a sample of blood. The sample analysis proved positive for cannabis.

Garda Martina Cassidy charged Mr Bergin with driving while exceeding the cannabis limit, having no insurance, and no driving licence, and failure to produce insurance and a driving licence.
He has previous convictions for drugs and dangerous driving, heard Judge Elizabeth MacGrath. “He had been disqualified for eight years,” said Sgt Hanrahan. Mr Bergin had been given a suspended jail sentence of 10 months, and the Thurles offence fell under the remit of that suspended sentence, said Sgt Hanrahan.

Solicitor Colin Morrissey said that, on the day, Mr Bergin had met a number of friends. Cannabis was consumed.

Another individual had driven down, and this individual wanted to be driven home.
Mr Bergin “took the foolish decision” to bring him home, and “hit a bollard near the College.”

Mr Bergin, 24, works part-time as a gravedigger in Abbeyleix. He never completed his Leaving Cert and left school after his Junior Cert. The suspended sentence arose from a “foolish incident” involving a chase from his younger days, said Mr Morrissey.

Judge MacGrath said she had to consider a custodial sentence given Mr Bergin’s record.
However, she noted his “demeanour” and age and asked for a probation report, adjourning the matter to June 28 next.

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