independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

Five men jailed for dangerous driving after sulky horse race captured on YouTube video

FIVE men were jailed today for dangerous driving after a sulky horse race caused chaos on the N20 Cork-Limerick road.

The incident on May 5 last saw drivers forced to swerve to avoid two horse-drawn buggies, called sulkies, as they travelled along the busy N20 near Blarney along with a convoy of support vehicles.

The incident was captured on a mobile camera phone by onlookers with the footage uploaded to YouTube where it has now attracted almost 500,000 'hits'.

At one point, five vehicles were driving abreast of one sulky in a bid to 'block' other motorists and allow the race to continue.

Blarney Gardai attended the scene in a desperate bid to stop the race and avoid a serious accident.

But other motorists were forced to swerve onto the grass verge and, at one point, an articulated lorry was faced with a van heading directly towards it on the wrong side of the road.

Judge Olan Kelleher warned Cork District Court that the incident had caused "havoc" on one of Ireland's busiest roads.

"They also showed a total disrespect towards other road users. The sentences reflect the gravity of the situation. This has to be a deterrent for other people," he said.

Judge Kelleher handed five-month jail sentences to Jimmy O'Brien (28) of 21 Inishannon Road, Fairhill, Cork; Patrick O'Brien (25) of 1 Woodford, Rossa Avenue, Bishopstown, Cork; Bernie McDonagh (20) of the Halting Site, Nash's Boeen, Cork; Daniel Stokes (46) of St Anthony's Park, Knocknaheeny, Cork and Christopher Roche (41) of St Anthony's Park, Knocknaheeny, Cork.

Sentencing of James Stokes (18) of St Anthony's Park, Knocknaheeny, Cork was adjourned to allow for the preparation of a Probation & Welfare Service report.

All six had pleaded guilty to dangerous driving.

The six defendants have a total of 74 previous convictions between them.

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