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Sunday 21 September 2014

Driving ban for farmer who wouldn't give a sample to 'black' doctor

Gordon Deegan

Published 28/01/2014 | 02:30

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John McNamara at Ennis Court
John McNamara at Ennis Court
Dr Awadilla Abdelrrazig at Ennis Court
Dr Awadilla Abdelrrazig at Ennis Court

A FARMER has been banned from driving for four years after refusing to provide a blood specimen because the doctor designated to take the sample was "black".

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Judge Carroll Moran said he was "really appalled by John McNamara's conduct and attitude towards the doctor concerned".

Judge Moran said McNamara's reasons for not providing a sample to the doctor "were quite objectionable" and also upheld a fine of €2,500 imposed on Mr McNamara in the district court.

McNamara was appealing the district court conviction at Ennis Circuit Court.

Garda Jarlath Hardiman told the court that McNamara of Raheenabeg, Killaloe, was brought to Killaloe garda station on suspicion of drink driving on the night of August 19, 2012. Gda Hardiman said a patrol car he was passenger in had detected McNamara's car 'wobble' a couple of times on the road near Killaloe, east Clare.

Gda Hardiman said McNamara's speech was slurred when he got out of his Mercedes car.

Gda Hardiman said when a Sudanese doctor, Dr Awadilla Abdelrrazig, arrived to get a blood sample, McNamara said: "I'm not letting that black doctor near me. I'm not letting him do anything to me."

Gda Hardiman said that McNamara was in an agitated state and later said that "he's black, he's black, it's not right".

Gda Hardiman told the court he had dealt with a substantial number of people brought into custody "but McNamara was the most rude and obnoxious person I have ever come across in those circumstances".

The garda said that McNamara started to cry and told him that the doctor was "dirty".

Gda Hardiman said that he cautioned the prisoner as to his behaviour to the doctor and asked him to calm down.

McNamara allowed Dr Abdelrrazig apply a tourniquet to his arm and efforts were made to draw blood with a needle.

But McNamara was restless in the chair, resulting in Dr Abdelrrazig not being able to take a sample, the court heard.

'INAPPROPRIATE'

Gda Hardiman said that at 4.11am, Mr McNamara said: "I can stay here all night, but I'm not giving blood or pi** and I'm not giving a sample to this doctor."

Dr Abdelrrazig said McNamara "was making inappropriate comments to me and said that he wasn't giving blood to a black doctor. He also said that he doubted that I was a doctor".

Counsel for McNamara told Dr Abdelrrazig that his client "wishes to apologise to you, and what he said to you on the night he deeply regrets".

McNamara did not provide evidence yesterday after his counsel failed with an application to have the case dismissed after the State's evidence had concluded. The court was told that McNamara was a divorced farmer in his 50s and the disqualification would have a massive impact on his life.

In response to a request from McNamara's counsel, Judge Moran granted a six-month postponement to the ban.

Irish Independent

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