Judge's praise for drink-drive Dolores

Paddy Clancy

SINGER Dolores Keane's work was praised by a judge as he banned her from driving for four years and fined her €300 for drink-driving.

Judge Paul Kelly paid tribute to Keane for her song A Woman's Heart and wished her the best of luck in her career.

The 58-year-old is now on her third driving ban.

She admitted to being nearly twice over the alcohol limit when driving outside the courthouse and less than 80 metres from the garda station on March 26, 2011.

The court was told it was her second drink-driving incident within a few months because she was already banned for three years for an offence near her home outside Tuam in November 2010.

A four-year ban, which started yesterday, will run concurrently with the three-year disqualification.


Judge Kelly was also told that Keane, who spent three months this year at an alcoholic counselling and treatment centre, was first banned from driving for two years in June 2000.

Garda Inspector Dennis Joyce, prosecuting at Glenties, said Keane's latest drink-driving occurred in March last year outside the courthouse when gardai received a report of a car being driven erratically on the wrong side of the road. Keane was co-operative with the gardai.

Defence solicitor Eric Gleeson said: "She drank all her life which affected her health and well-being, and more recently began to drink heavily."

Earlier this year she went on a 12-week intoxication course in Cuan Mhuire centre and at one stage was removed for treatment for illness to hospital in Limerick.

She was now off alcohol and medication and "a lot more healthy" than when he first took instructions from her last year.

Keane, of Caherlistrane, Tuam,was getting her career back on track and there was an upcoming tour, he said.

Judge Kelly noted to Ms Keane that it was obvious her being in court was "sufficient" punishment. She replied: "Yes."

The judge said: "I am sure you would rather be remembered for A Woman's Heart and your other fine productions."

He added that he wished her the best of luck with her continued career.