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Garda 'wants to get his career back on track' after 4-year road ban

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Gda O’Brien is still in his job

Gda O’Brien is still in his job

Gda O’Brien is still in his job

A Dublin garda has been banned from driving for four years but is still working and "wants to get his career back on track".

Swords-based Garda Eoin O'Brien refused "point blank" to give a sample of his breath after he mounted a kerb and crossed a green area in his own car before parking it in a dangerous position at the entrance to an estate.

The 37-year-old has also been convicted and fined a total of €800 for refusing to give the sample and for careless driving.

Gda O'Brien, of Ballsgrove in Drogheda, pleaded guilty at Drogheda District Court to refusing to give a sample on October 18 last year at Bryanstown Village in Drogheda.

The charge of careless driving, which Gda O'Brien also pleaded guilty to, was reduced from a dangerous driving charge after Judge Flann Brennan heard the facts of the case.

Defence solicitor Sean Brown said it is "obvious alcohol was involved".

Mr Brown said Gda O'Brien is addicted to alcohol and, two days after the offence, he completed a residential course at Aiseiri Rehabilitation Centre.

Sobriety

"He had three years of sobriety until last year and is fighting it hard," said Mr Brown.

"He is an outstanding member of An Garda Siochana and this is a nightmare of a scenario for him and he is extremely remorseful," he added.

Mr Brown said Gda O'Brien is back working again and is attending a number of meetings to address his alcohol problem.

He asked Judge Brennan to postpone the mandatory disqualification from driving for refusing to provide a sample until January to give Gda O'Brien time to organise alternative arrangements to get to work.

"He wants to get his career back on track," added Mr Brown.

Judge Brennan imposed the four-year disqualification and convicted and fined Gda O'Brien €400 for refusing to give a sample.

He further convicted and fined him €400 for careless driving.

As Gda O'Brien now has a conviction, whether he continues to work for An Garda Siochana is subject to a disciplinary hearing.

Convicted

"When a garda is convicted of a criminal offence, it becomes an internal disciplinary matter and we don't discuss internal disciplinary matters," a spokesman said.

"Whether they continue serving or not is subject to the disciplinary hearing which takes place as soon as criminal proceedings have been finalised.

"Every case is judged on its own merits. Even when it comes to a conclusion, it is never discussed publicly."


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