Tuesday 16 January 2018

Bachelor farmer (77) allowed 'motor on' after drink driving conviction

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)

Anne Lucey

A 77–year-old bachelor farmer who was caught drink driving more than three years ago, and whom 'the girls never bothered with', will be allowed “motor on” for another year, a court has decided.

Tom Sullivan, from Lisheen, Firies, Killarney had pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol on October 22 2013 at Leamnaguilla, Beaufort, Killarney.

The blood-alcohol reading was 175 which meant a two-year mandatory suspension from driving, Killarney District Court was told. 

Mr Sullivan's solicitor Padraig O’Connell said he was seeking an adjournment “just to keep him going”.

The matter first came before Killarney District Court in June 2014 and was adjourned for various reasons, including at first for the standard disclosure of documents.

This is the case’s seventh outing before the court, the State agreed to a final adjournment to November 2018.

Last week, at Killarney District Court, Judge James O’Connor invited the slightly stooped, white-haired Mr Sullivan to sit up near him, on a low chair in front of the bench.

He lived on his own in an isolated area, and the neighbours were “not that good to him,” his solicitor synopsised from previous outings of the case, for Judge O’Connor.

The judge questioned him closely on his circumstances. Mr Sullivan told the judge he lived two and a half miles from Firies village, on the Killarney side.

“I’m off the main road,” he said.

He drove a ‘98 Nissan and he also had “a bit of a tractor”.

“I had a good one, one time,” he told Judge O’Connor.

He had no stock now. His brother, also a bachelor farmer, lived not far – they had two farms. Mr Sullivan, the accused, had remained  in “the home place”. Nieces in North Kerry called to him “off and on” but they also called to the brother, he told the judge. He would be totally stranded without his car.

The brother and himself led independent lives, he indicated. “Do ye agree?” Judge O’Connor asked.

“Yera, off and on,” Mr Sullivan replied.

The reading was 175mg per 100 ml of blood, which carried a mandatory two years off the road, the court was told. Mr Sullivan, who was born on 15 September 1939, had no previous convictions.

His solicitor, Mr O’Connell, said he was looking for an adjournment (of the driving ban) “just to keep him going.” 

Judge O’Connor remarked “his heart mightn’t be the strongest – but he’s motoring on.”

Judge O’Connor agreed to a further adjournment, “once more” to the autumn of next year. There was consent from Inspector Niall Crowley, for the State.

The inspector said it would have to be finalised then. The matter has been adjourned to November 2017. 

The judge enquired if he had ever bothered with women and as Mr Sullivan made his way from the bench to the body of the court.

“They didn’t bother with me!” was the reply.

Judge O'Connor recently hit the headlines when he allowed another farmer in Kerry time to organise his cattle and a chance to go to Lisdoonvarna to find “a nice woman” to drive him around during his disqualification for drink-driving.

Online Editors

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News