Man crashes stolen bus into wall in drunk prank
A judge has described as "bizarre" an incident where a drunken 20-year-old man stole a bus after a night in the pub, drove it on a motorway and crashed it into a wall.
At Ennis District Court, Adam O'Brien's solicitor Daragh Hassett said his client took part in a "drunken prank that went horribly wrong. In fact, it was more serious than that".
Mr O'Brien, of Ravendale, Pass Road, Meelick, Co Clare, crashed the 16-seater bus into a wall in Shannon, causing €5,020 of damage.
He had been driving the bus around Shannon for one hour and was wandering from lane to lane on the M18 motorway when he was stopped by gardaí at Bunratty shortly after 3am on February 10 last.
Mr Hassett said Mr O'Brien had been out and was waiting for a taxi to take him home at the front door of a pub.
"Mr O'Brien is waiting for the taxi but what pulls up is his drinking buddy driving a bus, who had taken it with the keys in it from the nearby car park. The doors open and Mr O'Brien gets on...
"His friend says 'I'm a bit drunk, will you drive?' and Mr O'Brien, who had lots to drink, decides to take the wheel of the bus and drive around Shannon. The bus collides with a wall...the guards come and the game is up."
Mr O'Brien pleaded guilty to drink driving, criminal damage and taking the bus without the consent of the owner. Mr O'Brien had been disqualified from driving just weeks before the incident. He was remanded on bail until June 6.