THREE Castleisland truckers who drove three abreast on the main Abbeyfeale to Castleisland road as part of a promotional charity video will spend at least two nights in garda custody, a district court judge has warned.
Describing the actions of the three McAuliffe Trucking drivers as 'scandalous' and 'outlandish', Judge James O'Connor said a child in primary school would have known the importance of getting garda clearance for such and event. He said that while their objective of promoting a charity event was admirable, their actions were 'a ferociously frightful example' to young drivers who would have seen the video on Youtube.
Drivers Krzystof Sokolowski (33) of 62, Main Street Castleisland, Lorcan Regan (20) of Mein, Knocknagoshal, and Slawomir Kupiec (38) of 20 Clonlough Drive, Limerick Road, Castleisland, each pleaded guilty to dangerous driving at Dooneen, Castleisland on October 14, 2012. Kupiec also pleaded guilty to dangerous parking on a dual carriageway at Mullaghmarky, Castleisland, which resulted in a car having to swerve to avoid him and clipping another car.
The three men ended up in court in Tralee on Thursday after a member of the public saw the video on Youtube and made a complaint to the the Garda National Traffic Bureau.
The men's solicitor, Padraig O'Connell, said that while the drivers fully accepted they should have got garda clearance for the event, their intentions were far from malicious and there was absolutely no element of criminality.
He insisted that the men were taking part in the video to promote a charity event that the company was planning for Pieta House and the Share a Dream Foundation, adding that the clip was just 40 seconds long. Mr O'Connell said that the Castleisland Trucking company, which has been in business since the 1970s, had a pristine record and that the three drivers also had exemplary records and are highly regarded employees. He agreed that the event should been better organised and was 'misguided'.
An irate Judge James O'Connor told the men that they deserved to spend time in prison for their 'outlandish' actions, before insisting that they would spend at least two nights in garda custody at Killarney Garda Station.
"If the event is for charity then the first thing you do is go to the gardai to ensure the road is clear. That would occur to a child in national school," he said. "It is hard to believe this didn't happen. It's outlandish.
"Their aim and objective may be admirable, but you cannot do this if there is any risk to the public at large. There was a distinct absence of common sense here and it's a ferociously frightful example to young lads watching the video. It's scandalous behaviour when you look at the possible results This should never had happened and should never have been advertised and they will have to serve some time."
Judge O'Connor ajourned the case until this Tuesday's sitting of Killarney District Court for finalisation.