THE publican brother of Environment Minister Phil Hogan has been banned from driving for four years after an incident where he admitted to a garda he drank 15 pints before crashing his car.
Paddy Hogan (51), who owns the Hogan Stand pub in Tullow, Co Carlow, appeared before Baltinglass District Court where Judge David Kennedy found him guilty of drink driving.
He was barred from driving for four years and fined €700 for the offence under Section 4 of the Road Traffic Act.
When asked for a response to the verdict Mr Hogan said he had no comment to make.
The publican had last month pleaded not guilty to dangerous driving and to being intoxicated and incapable of controlling a vehicle on October 14, 2012, when he crashed his car at Knocklow, just outside Tullow.
Judge Kennedy yesterday struck out the dangerous-driving charge but found Mr Hogan guilty of drink driving.
In evidence before the court in September, gardai attending the scene described how Mr Hogan was slurring his words, smelled of alcohol and was unsteady on his feet.
Garda Finbarr O'Connor told of how he had spoken to Mr Hogan shortly after the crash and Mr Hogan had admitted that he had been in the Crab Lane pub all day and "probably had about 15 pints".
Inspector Martin Walker told the court that five gardai had witnessed Mr Hogan at the scene and described him as intoxicated. However, the court heard the publican was released from garda custody that night when a doctor did not arrive within the three-hour time limit to carry out a blood or urine test.
An intoxilyzer test at the garda station had delivered a reading of 'mouth alcohol'.
Mr Hogan's solicitor, Martin Lawlor, last month claimed that there was "systemic failures" in testing procedures as the driver had been "denied the opportunity" to give a blood or urine sample for analysis.
In delivering his verdict yesterday Judge Kennedy said he has had to ask himself two questions, the first being if Mr Hogan was under the influence to render him incapable of driving a vehicle, and the second to decide if this condition was due to an intoxicant. "Both of which the answer was yes", he said.