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Jailed driver is 'lucky to be alive' after high-speed chases - judge

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'"He's lucky to be alive," the judge said, adding that a lot of people who had not driven dangerously or under the influence of alcohol were "unfortunately not with us".' (stock photo)

'"He's lucky to be alive," the judge said, adding that a lot of people who had not driven dangerously or under the influence of alcohol were "unfortunately not with us".' (stock photo)

'"He's lucky to be alive," the judge said, adding that a lot of people who had not driven dangerously or under the influence of alcohol were "unfortunately not with us".' (stock photo)

A DANGEROUS driver who led gardai on two high-speed chases is "lucky to be alive", a judge has said.

Gary O'Farrelly (30) was seen swapping seats with his pass-enger as he drove drunk in another incident.

Judge David McHugh jailed him for five months, banned him from driving for 12 years and fined him €1,500 after he admitted a litany of motoring offences.

O'Farrelly, of Park Villas, Castleknock, pleaded guilty to dangerous, uninsured and drink-driving in several incidents.

Blanchardstown District Court heard gardai were called to Castlegrange Estate in Clonsilla last March 11.

O'Farrelly was driving a silver Volkswagen and failed to stop when gardai signalled, leading to a pursuit. He was eventually stopped on Phibblestown Road.

In another incident, last September 11, O'Farrelly took off at speed the wrong way around a roundabout at the R149 in Co Meath.

He did handbrake turns at junctions, drove on the wrong side of the road and at speed over a humpbacked bridge.

Evasive

Other drivers had to take evas-ive action and there were pedestrians on the footpath.

O'Farrelly almost lost control of the car and nearly collided with cars coming in the opposite direction. He drove at speed through a residential area in Dunboyne.

On May 25 last year, gardai were called to a disturbance involving a Ford Focus at a public car park on Castleknock Road.

The accused failed to stop, and officers saw the car slow down as O'Farrelly swapped seats with his passenger. He was arrested and found to be over the alcohol limit when tested.

In another incident, he cut in front of a Dublin bus in a Toyota Yaris, causing it to brake suddenly.

O'Farrelly had 47 previous convictions and was already under a 15-year driving ban.

The "litany of offending" was appalling, defence solicitor Matthew Kenny accepted.

"He's lucky to be alive," the judge said, adding that a lot of people who had not driven dangerously or under the influence of alcohol were "unfortunately not with us".

"I don't know how he has managed to stay in one piece with two arms and two legs and a head," he added.


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