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Gardai believed 21-year-old was ‘racing’ on motorway with speed in excess of 180kph

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‘You will have to slow down,’ Judge McKiernan has told a 21-year-old motorist who gardaí believed was racing another car on the M1.

Jack O’Donnell, Boice Manor, Tinure, Drogheda, was summonsed for two counts of dangerous driving at Little Mills, Dundalk, on 6 February 2021.

However, the court accepted a plea of guilty to careless driving on one of the summonses.

Evidence was presented that at 5.05pm gardaí in an unmarked car saw two vehicles entering the motorway ‘at high speed in convoy’. They took off at in excess of 180kph on the M1 and ‘appeared to be racing’.

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O’Donnell was one of the drivers and it was accepted that he was unaware the gardaí were behind.

The judge said she would reduce the matter to careless driving as the prosecution had consented.

Solicitor Aimee McCumiskey said her client instructed he was not racing on the Castleblayney Road. Another car overtook him.

He was driving a 2012 diesel. The vehicle had recently lost power and he left it into a mechanic, not to get ‘revamped’ to increase the car’s power but to make sure the power came back.

The defendant lived at home with his parents and worked full-time in farming. A letter from his employer was handed in.

Judge McKiernan told O’Donnell he would have to slow down.

A €300 fine was imposed for careless driving. The court used its discretion not to disqualify him.


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