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Man (22) who led gardai on chase ordered to complete road safety course to have dangerous driving charge reduced


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A 22-year-old motorist overtook traffic on a continuous white line and around bends while he was being pursued by gardaí, the court has heard.

Kevin O’Reilly, Drumnalive, Inniskeen, Co. Monaghan, was accused of dangerous driving at Mounthamilton and at Lisnawilly, Carrickmacross Road, Dundalk, on 20 May last.

His counsel said he was prepared to plead guilty to a reduced charge of careless driving with the consent of the State.

However, after hearing evidence, Judge McKiernan remarked that she was ‘not impressed with the facts’.

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Court presenter Sgt Jimmy McGovern said that at 8.40pm on the date in question gardaí saw a Volkswagen Golf with tinted windows cross a continuous white line on the Carrickmacross Road. They turned and followed this car.

On seeing gardaí the driver sped up and overtook traffic while travelling at 100kph in a 50kph zone.

Sgt McGovern added he continued to overtake other vehicles on a continuous white line and going around bends.

‘And the garda has consented (to a reduction)?’ the judge asked.

Barrister Stephen Faulkner said his client panicked. He had not come to garda attention before or since.

Judge McKiernan said she was not impressed with the facts. The defendant had overtaken in this manner and the gardaí following him.

Counsel said Mr O’Reilly was in full-time employment. He was setting up his own business and had applied to the Enterprise Board for grants.

His father, who was present, had written a letter to the court.

The defendant was willing to undertake a driver safety course.

Judge McKiernan said this was very serious especially when he knew the gardaí were following him.

Mr O’Reilly was remanded on continuing bail to 8 February 2023 for him to complete a road safety course.

The judge said if that was done, she would reduce the charge.