Hunger for home falls foul of law


A MAN who was visiting family in Listowel took a car after being seized by an 'over-riding urge' to return to his own home in Galway. However, he didn't even manage to get out of the county before his journey was brought to an abrupt end by gardaí, who then discovered he was also driving under the influence of alcohol.

Jason Barry, with a Kerry address at 83 O'Connell's Avenue, Listowel, appeared in custody before Judge Mary Larkin at Listowel District Court last Wednesday charged with a number of offences under the Road Traffic Act.

Mr Barry was in custody as he had been jailed recently, at a sitting of Galway District Court, for other Road Traffic Act offences. His sentence was described as 'significant'.

The court heard that gardaí received a call-out about a blue Peugeot 307 taken from a home in Ashgrove, LIstowel, on July 24 of this year. Gardaí launched a search immediately and came upon Mr Barry in the car at Leitrim Middle in Moyvane at 2.06am on the date.

He was arrested and a specimen of urine he supplied returned a reading of 149mg of alcohol per 100ml of urine.

The court heard that Mr Barry had been charged in relation to some of the offences that arose from the night at an earlier sitting of Listowel District Court.

Solicitor Pat Enright said he believed the three charges before Judge Mary Larkin last Wednesday - driving without a licence, drunken driving and driving with no insurance - should also have been dealt with on the first day.

"He had taken car keys from a home and was on the way to Tarbert with a view to going back to Galway where he is living," Mr Enright explained.

He said Mr Barry was staying with his grandmother in Listowel, where his father also sometimes lives. "He told gardaí he had an over-riding urge to get out of Listowel and get to Galway."

The offences for which Mr Barry was sentenced to jail in Galway District Court - stemming from an incident on August 12 last - occured not long after he returned there from Listowel when he got into ' further difficulty', Mr Enright added.

Judge Larkin fined Mr Barry a total of €2,000 and disqualified him from driving for four years on the charge of drunken driving and a further five years on the charge of driving without insurance.

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