A MAN WHO pleaded guilty to drink driving in the District Court last Wednesday turned out to have a record of similar offences.
In the light of his past convictions, Gerry Connors (50), The Arches, Esmonde Road, Enniscorthy was ordered to take prompt action to deal with his drink problem or face 12 months in jail.
The court heard how Connors was discovered over the limit by Garda Kathleen Costello on February 10 last year while she was on duty at Scarawalsh around 9 a.m. She also noted that the defendant's vehicle was dangerously defective, with a badly broken windscreen and one tyre worn down to the canvas.
The list of previous motoring convictions, imposed between 2001 and 2007, included four earlier counts of drink driving or being drunk in charge. Judge Gerard Haughton noted that at the time of his latest offence, Connors stood banned from holding a licence for ten years.
Defending solicitor Peter Crean suggested that alcohol had played a major part in the previous convictions. The court was told that the accused had attended his local psychiatric hospital and abstained from all drink for more than a year. However, he then lost both his parents, while his brother died in tragic circumstances and he resumed drinking. The defendant realised that he was at risk of losing his liberty and Mr. Crean reported that his client feared the prospect of prison as he had health problems.
'He wants to give up drink,' stated Mr. Crean, prompting the judge to enquire what steps he had taken to tackle his problems with alcohol since incident which brought him before the court. The solicitor accepted that Connors had done nothing.
'I will give him a week to sort something out,' replied Judge Haughton, indicating that he expected the response to be substantial. Alternatively, the defendant will be dealt the maximum sentence.
'He is facing twelve months,' confirmed the judge. He noted that a teenaged child had been a passenger in the vehicle intercepted by Garda Costello, who estimated that the youngster was aged 16 or 17. Gerry Connors replied by pointing out that the 'child' was now three months married.
Also travelling with the defendant on the same occasion was his wife Mary (50) who was allowed six months to pay a €100 fine imposed for failure to wear her seat belt. Mr. Crean explained that she had been asleep at the time.