ACTRESS Kate O'Toole was yesterday banned from driving for three years after admitting drink driving in Connemara.
A court heard that Ms O'Toole (47), daughter of veteran Irish actor Peter O'Toole, was more than three times over the limit when detained by gardai in Clifden last December.
The stage and screen star of internationally acclaimed productions such as 'Dancing at Lughnasa', 'Possession', '32A' and John Huston's last film 'The Dead' has won numerous awards for her performances and most recently played the part of Lady Salisbury in the hit BBC TV series 'The Tudors'.
She did not appear at Clifden District Court for yesterday's hearing of the prosecution against her, but sent an email to the court through her solicitor explaining her absence and pointing out that she was currently working in London.
In his evidence to the court, Garda Rory Keating said he arrested Ms O'Toole on suspicion of drink driving on December 13 last year.
She had been involved in a single-vehicle accident in her nine-year-old car on the Sky Road, just outside Clifden.
Gda Keating told Judge Mary Fahy that Ms O'Toole, who has an address at Eyrephort, Clifden, admitted that she had drunk "a few glasses of wine" in the pub. She told Gda Keating that it was "a fair cop".
Upon analysis, her blood alcohol reading was 242/100. The legal limit is 80/100.
The court heard that Ms O'Toole's tax, insurance and other details were in order and Supt Tony O'Donnell said that she did not have any previous convictions.
Defending solicitor JJ Mannion explained that his client was unable to attend the court as she was working in London. He handed in her email, apologising for her absence.
"She apologises for her actions and has cooperated with the case in every respect," Mr Mannion said.
Judge Fahy imposed a three-year driving disqualification and fined Ms O'Toole €500.