A PROMINENT inter-county GAA footballer who failed a breathalyser test the morning after a wedding has been banned from driving for a year.
Christopher Barrett, who plays for last year's All-Ireland senior football finalists Mayo, was also fined €350 by Judge Mary Devins at a sitting of Westport District Court.
The court heard that just before 9am on April 28, 2012, Barrett, with an address at Barnatra, Ballina, was spotted by Garda Hugh McHugh with a mobile phone in his hand as he emerged from Knockranny House Hotel, Westport, on to the main N5 road.
The accused had attended a wedding in the hotel on the previous day and had stayed overnight in a local B&B before returning to the hotel the following morning to collect his Volkswagen Golf car.
A test from Barrett showed a reading of 45 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath. He added that as well as holding a phone to his ear, the accused was also not wearing a seatbelt.
In evidence, Barrett "denied 100pc" being on a mobile phone. He admitted to not wearing a seatbelt at the time.
Pleading for leniency, Barrett's solicitor, Samantha Geraghty, explained that her client was on an internship in Dublin and needed a car for work and travelling home for training.