Man drove through New Year's revellers

Man put off road for five years after road offences in Dingle

A fisherman who drove through the New Year's Eve crowds in Dingle last year while beeping his VW Golf was put off the road for two years at district court in the town on Friday, January 25 last.

Moments later, while stopped by a garda, Colm Flannery, 9 Cois Cnoic, Dingle, suddenly 'took off' up Main Street - 'narrowly avoiding taking Gda Murphy with him,' gardaí told Judge David Waters at the Court.

Mr Flannery (29) appeared before the Judge charged with dangerous driving arising from the incident - which occurred at 2am on January 1 of 2018.

"Gardaí observed this man driving his vehicle and beeping the horn as he drove through the crowd," Sgt Miriam Mulhall Nolan told the Court.

Gardaí attempted to stop the car at Spa Road, but the car drove onto Main Street, where Garda Murphy opened the door when it had come to a stop.

He observed Mr Flannery making a cigarette; but when he directed the defendant to stop the vehicle, Mr Flannery 'insulted' the garda before taking off through Main Street.

"He narrowly avoided taking Gda Murphy with him," Sgt Mulhall Nolan said.

"It sounds like you had a very busy New Year's Eve," Judge Waters remarked.

The Judge registered surprise when he was informed Mr Flannery had been given three separate opportunities to keep his record clean on prosecution in 2011, 2013 and 2015.

He had been directed to make payments to the Court Poor Box in 2011 on a hit-and-run charge; in 2013 on a charge of no insurance (when he paid €1,000) and in 2015 on another matter when he paid €800.

"The Poor Box...three times?" Judge Waters asked, to garda affirmation.

Solicitor Patrick Diggin said his client apologised for the 'manner of driving'.

"He stresses he wasn't engaging in deliberate, dangerous driving." Mr Diggin said it was at the 'bottom end of the scale' for the offence:

"He thinks he was in relative low gears at all times."

He asked the Court to take into account Mr Flannery did not injure anyone; was insured; had no defects on his car; had pleaded at the earliest opportunity and was of previously good character 'generally'.

He described his client as a 'hard-working' fisherman, a father of two children, with another child on the way.

Mr Diggin said the disqualification period would be of great inconvenience to his client.

"I would have sympathy for someone in similar circumstances, but I have zero sympathy for this individual...He was in court at least twice previously for road traffic matters, he was given a chance. and then he went and behaved like this...people come before the Court and are ultra-careful afterwards. He was given a chance, and he didn't take it," the Judge said.

Mr Flannery was put off the road for dangerous driving for two years and fined €400.

Judge Waters warned that if Mr Flannery were to come before the Court again on driving offences that he would face much harsher sanction.