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Garda-chase father walks free to care for sick baby

A FATHER whose two-month-old daughter is ill in hospital has escaped with a suspended sentence for driving offences.

Martin McDonagh told the judge he needed to be around to help his partner to care for her and their eldest child.

McDonagh (20) jumped out of his car, over a garden fence and into a back garden in an effort to escape gardai after they saw him driving.

He was banned from driving at the time of the incident.

The judge disqualified McDonagh from driving for a further two years and sentenced him to six months in prison, suspended for two years.

McDonagh, of Daletree Terrace, Tallaght, previously admitted before Tallaght District Court to driving without insurance, driving licence or NCT certificate.

The incident took place on Daletree Place on February 11 last year. Garda Joanne Grogan previously said she was on mobile patrol shortly after 11pm when she saw McDonagh driving a 2000 Kildare-registered vehicle.

The dipped headlights on the vehicle were off. She said McDonagh left the car in a parking space, jumped out of it then leapt over a fence and into the back garden of his house.


The garda said she then met McDonagh on February 14 and asked him to produce the necessary documents. He failed to do so.

John O'Leary, defending, said McDonagh is a young man with a lot of responsibilities.

His girlfriend gave birth to their second child, a baby girl, shortly before Christmas and she is currently ill in hospital.

Judge James McDonnell also fined McDonagh €1,000.