FIVE men who caused havoc on one of Ireland's busiest roads with a two-horse sulky race have been jailed for five months.
Judge Olann Kelleher warned that he had never before seen anything comparable to the dangerous driving exhibited on the N20 Cork-Limerick road as he watched a four-minute YouTube clip of the incident.
The clip, which went 'viral' with more than 500,000 views, at one point showed five vehicles driving abreast of one sulky to 'block' other motorists and allow the race to continue.
Cork District Court heard that motorists were forced to swerve on to the grass verge and a lorry was confronted by a van heading towards it on the wrong side of the road.
The sulky race, popular amongst Travellers, was the focus of large bets, said gardai.
Gardai said it was a miracle no serious accident was caused by the race at 8am on May 5 last.
Two horse-drawn buggies, or 'sulkies', were being raced and supported by a convoy of vehicles attempting to block traffic to let them race.
Even when a patrol car intervened and attempted to stop the race, the vehicles weaved around traffic, with one speeding on the wrong side of the motorway to cheer sulky driver Patrick O'Brien.
Another vehicle had a man hanging out of a rear window trying to video the proceedings.
Judge Kelleher handed five-month jail sentences to Jimmy O'Brien (28), of Inishannon Road, Fairhill, Cork; Patrick O'Brien (25), of Woodford, Rossa Avenue, Bishopstown, Cork; Bernie McDonagh (20), of the Halting Site, Nash's Boreen, Cork; Daniel Stokes (46), of St Anthony's Park, Knocknaheeny, Cork; and Christopher Roche (41), of St Anthony's Park, Knocknaheeny, Cork.