Sunday 22 September 2019

'Lives could have been lost' - motorcyclist sped along footpath outside school in bid to escape gardaí

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Stock picture
Andrew Phelan

Andrew Phelan

Pedestrians at a primary school had to jump out of the way as a motorcyclist sped along a footpath trying to escape from gardai.

A court heard that "lives could have been lost, but for the intervention of fate", as Declan Kiernan (26) also drove at a garda car during the road rampage near his home.

Judge David McHugh jailed him for three months and banned him from driving for two years.

Kiernan, of Dunsink Avenue, Finglas, pleaded guilty to three counts of dangerous driving.

The offences happened at Dunsink Avenue, Fergal's Lane and Cappagh Road, all in Finglas.

Blanchardstown District Court heard gardai on duty on September 15, 2016, saw the accused on a black motorcycle without a helmet speeding on the wrong side of the road.

He drove toward St Fergal's National School, failing to stop for the officers, and mounted a pedestrian-only footpath.

Pedestrians had to take action to avoid him, the court heard.

Kiernan crossed Wellmount Road, causing traffic to stop to avoid a collision.

He mounted another pedestrian footpath and drove at the pursuing patrol car, which also had to take action to avoid a collision.

Gardai recognised Kiernan but stopped pursuing him and arrested him on a later date.

He had 31 previous convictions, for offences including unlawful seizure of a vehicle and assault.

Kiernan had a one-year-old baby and the birth last year had transformed the accused's life "in terms of keeping him out of trouble and on the straight and narrow", his solicitor John O'Doherty said.

He had a past which was borne out of an addiction to tablets but he had turned his life around and was undertaking a sports management course.

"This is a serious incident, there is no denying that or getting away from it," he added.

Judge McHugh said that "people's lives could have been lost but for the intervention of fate".

The accused had been involved in a "quite considerable escapade", which involved him driving his motorcycle at the garda car at one point.

He had mounted a footpath without consideration for members of the public and the case could have ended up in a higher court, the judge said.

It was not a question of whether he would serve a sentence but of how long, he added.


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