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Mercy dash driver ends up in prison

A BANNED driver who drove to the airport to stop his mentally troubled older brother leaving the country has been jailed for six months.

Father-of-one Austin Skelly (30) was sentenced for driving without insurance after a court heard he was already under a 10-year ban when he made the "foolish" decision to drive.

Judge Dermot Dempsey also imposed another 15-year disqualification. Skelly, with an address at Dunne Street, Dublin 1, pleaded guilty to driving without insurance or a licence, and while disqualified.

Garda Enda Ledwith told Dublin District Court he was on duty on February 2 last year when he stopped Skelly's red Volkswagen Golf on the Swords Road at 5pm.

He undertook to produce proof of insurance at Fitzgibbon Street Garda Station but failed to do so. Skelly had been banned from driving for 10 years since June 2008.


The court heard Skelly's 35-year-old brother had "gone off the rails" and Skelly heard he was going to leave the country on the day.

The man had been suffering mental and other difficulties following a serious assault.

Because of the effects of his injuries the brother's marriage had broken down and he had lost his job. He had been with his partner for 16 years and they had an eight-year-old child.

Asking Judge Dempsey to consider imposing a community service order, Skelly's lawyer said: "He is a young, able-bodied man, I would ask you to give him an opportunity to take some good from this unfortunate situation".

Judge Dempsey refused, saying Skelly's behaviour was "deplorable".

Recognisances were fixed in the event of an appeal.